How to Protect Your Teen Athlete From Injury
Mar. 1, 2018 /Jeannette/Mom Unleashed/ — It’s no secret that my son loves sports. If he had his way, he’d be on the court or the field 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. While I have no problem with his love of being active, as a mom I worry about how playing physical sports effects his body. Over the last year, we’ve had more than a few injuries that have had me questioning if I’m taking every precaution to keep him safe while he does what he loves. However, after a long conversation with his doctors after yet another injury, I came up with some easy ways to protect your teen athlete from injury.
Now, let me give you a little back story. My 15-year old son is just over 6’1″. He does not know what caution means when it comes to playing sports, especially his favorite sport….basketball. He pushes hard and often takes risks that leave me cringing. In fact, just before Christmas he decided that he needed to work on his dunk at our local park while I was walking. After watching him dunk it time and time again, I was relaxing a little bit. Then on that last dunk, he hung onto the rim a little too long and it gave on him. Up went his feet and down came his body. I seriously thought he had knocked himself out. Instead, he landed right on his hip and broke it. Yup, you heard me right, we had a broken hip over Christmas that required crutches. Fun, I tell ya!
While he’s now off crutches, this was just one injury in a line of injuries that he’s experienced over the years that left me wondering what I could do to help him make the most of the sports that he enjoys without having to worry quite so much about injuries. While I likely will never just sit back casually and not wonder about what could happen while he’s on the court, I’ve come up with a few simple ways to protect him while he’s playing.
ALWAYS STRETCH FIRST
My son is a 15 year old boy….stretching before he plays often doesn’t even enter his mind. In fact, he has a bad habit of walking in the gym, grabbing a ball and going straight for the dunk. However, his doctors have reinforced with him that properly stretching his muscles before activity loosen them up and helps prevent injuries. For me, this often means having him stretch outside of the gym before he heads in but I have noticed that it makes a difference in his performance.
HAVE A YEARLY SPORTS PHYSICAL
I can’t stress the importance of a yearly sports physical for athletes. It’s just a good time to touch base with your child’s doctor, let them look over everything that is going on and rule out any problems or issues. Thankfully, most schools require this to be done before allowing a child to play sports. Last year, my teen’s sports physical was the starting point of a diagnosis that’s changed a lot of how he plays sports and had we not attended, we may have missed some very obvious (to the doctor) signs.
WEAR THE RIGHT GEAR
If you say basketball gear to my son, he’s likely going to think you’re talking about the right shoes and athletic clothing. However, sports gear goes so much further than simply choosing the coolest new shoes and the most popular brand of active wear. Instead, sports gear includes a number of pieces of protective gear. We recently had the chance to try out one that has become a part of my son’s game day gear, 2nd Skull® head gear.
Never heard of 2nd Skull®? I hadn’t either but I’ve known for years the importance of good head gear in any number of sports. Now I’ve learned that 2nd Skull® is the manufacturer of standalone bands and protective skull caps that are perfect for a variety of sports. We received the 2nd Skull® Band since my son is most interested in basketball, which doesn’t require helmets. This band is made using unique construction with Poron XRD that provides shock absorption qualities that are demonstrable and significant and has been supported by laboratory testing. So how does it work? 2nd Skull® Bands and Caps help protect athletes by providing a thin layer of material designed to absorb impact. This extra thin layer includes XRD® Technology, an extreme energy absorbing material that is made from special urethane molecules that are soft and flexible at rest and then momentarily harden under sudden pressure.
Through scientific engineering, these bands are made to reduce impact to the head using Poron XRD, a padding material that has been shown to absorb energy under sudden pressure or impact.
While to my son, the 2nd Skull® Band looks very similar to a regular head band, it goes further in protecting my child’s head than a traditional head band does. With it’s comfortable fit, aesthetically pleasing look and Mircoban(R) antimicrobial protection to defend against odors and stains, this made in the USA product that’s the winner of the NFL HeadHealth Tech II Challenge is a perfect way to offer my son an extra layer of protection while he’s playing his beloved sports.
Even my picky son who never wants to wear any of the protective gear I offer him loved the 2nd Skull® Band. Not only did it hold his hair back out of his eyes, by it kept sweat from running into his face while giving his head and extra layer of protection. Remember that accident that I was telling you about where he broke his hip before Christmas? Well, the truth of the matter was when I saw him fall it looked like he hit his head. Thankfully he hadn’t but it was a wake up call to me that I need to do everything I can to protect every part of his body while he’s playing his favorite sports.
For us, the 2nd Skull® Band is now a part of his game day gear and it’s an essential element in how I protect my teen athlete from injury. He understands that while all he wants to do is play, all I want to do is keep him safe while he’s doing what he loves most. That’s where 2nd Skull® meets both our needs in the best way!
If you’re the mom of an athlete, I encourage you to learn more about 2nd Skull® products. If your child plays sports that involve a helmet, check out the 2nd Skull® protective skull cap that fits perfectly under helmets to mitigate the impact of blows to the head. This sleek cap is a compressive, antimicrobial cap with an 2nd Skull has conducted biomechanical testing at independent labs in North America and the United Kingdom that has shown the skull cap reduces both rotational and linear impact when worn under football and other athletic helmets. If your child doesn’t wear a helmet, try the 2nd Skull® Band that we now include in our game day essentials. No matter which one you choose, if you’re like me you’ll rest easier knowing that you’re doing all you can to protect your teen athlete in the best was possible! Be sure to check out the array of products and benefits (I’ve just scratched the surface on how amazing the 2nd Skull® products are) on the 2nd Skull® webpage.
Then tell me, which of the 2nd Skull® products would best fit the needs of your teen athlete?
Scientists have not reached agreement on how the results of impact absorption tests relate to neck, head, or brain injuries, including concussions. No conclusions about a reduction of risk or severity of neck, head, or brain injuries, including concussions, should be drawn from impact absorption tests.
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