ADVOCATES FOR SAFETY
The Role of ParentsFrom the day-to-day duties of school drop-off, meal prep and homework, to the weighty assignments of building character and instilling values, a parent’s job is never done. Perhaps one of the biggest responsibilities for a parent is ensuring their child’s health, safety and overall well-being. Sports provide a wonderful opportunity for kids to not only be active and reap the countless physical benefits, but to also learn important life skills like leadership, teamwork and determination. It is easy to see why many parents advocate for their child to play and thrive in sports. In fact, in a 2018 national survey of parents commissioned by the National Athletic Trainers’ Association, 9 in 10 parents feel that participation in sports is important to their child’s overall wellness and a majority of parents say their child has played sports (either currently or in the past). Additionally, 85% of parents believe the benefits of sports outweigh the potential risks. The survey found that the child’s interest and his or her safety are the most important factors when families make decisions about sports participation. More than half of parents say that they would prevent their child from participating in sports due to concerns of the potential risks. Parents are most worried about their child suffering from broken bones, sprains and strains and concussions during sports participation. Parents are also concerned with the risk of heat illness, overuse injuries and dental injuries. While parents expressed concerns over safety and nearly all parents (91%) indicated that they would take precautionary action related to child’s sports participation, many are not taking the proper steps to ensure their child’s safety:
The Parent’s Role in Providing a Safer Approach
- Only half of parents know the signs and symptoms of sports-related injuries and ask about the availability and use of safety equipment.
- Less than half share their child’s medical history with the school or club.
- Only approximately one-third of respondents ask about a coach’s training and background.
- Less than 30% of parents ask if there is a plan for managing emergencies or inquire about the availability of an athletic trainer or medical profession during games and practices.
- Only 20% learn about the availability of an AED.