Since we are parents of four children who play sports, and having participated in sports ourselves in our younger days, my husband and I know all too well how easily children can get hurt while participating in their favorite sports. (Or if your my son, you can just injure yourself worse in your neighbor’s back yard. Hello, broken collarbone and high doctor’s bills!)
When my husband was a child, he loved to run and ended up playing soccer and participating in track. And he was great at both. Unfortunately, he ended up blowing out his knee, and as they say, the rest is history. That came after he broke his ankle playing soccer.
Now that we have children of our own, we know we could end up with phone calls about our own children’s injuries. In fact, last year we received a phone call about one of our daughters who got a softball to the shin. I had run home to get her an ice pack for her ankle since she has issues with it, along with some ibuprofen. While I was gone I received a phone call and was told she’d been hurt. Her brother and I rushed to the softball field where I found her crying and in pain. When I touched her shin, calf and ankle area to see how it felt, I felt and heard a pop. I instantly thought it was broken…and by not fault of her own. She was up to bat and the pitcher threw a bad pitch that got her in the shin.
We ended up taking her to the local emergency room where she had to have x-rays of her shin, calf and foot done. Even afterwards they weren’t entirely certain she had a broken bone. They said it could have slight fracture. To be safe, they put her in an aircast. She was out of it pretty quickly, too, considering how long she could have been in a hard cast. The bruise she got as a result lasted for weeks.
All in all, though, she got lucky. And she knows it. She also knows it could happen again. And because of that knowledge, she sometimes flinches when a softball flies towards her. But she doesn’t let it stop her from playing. Now she’s just more conscious of what could go wrong, as are we.
Our other daughter broke her toe at Tae Kwon Do one night. She wasn’t even practicing her form when it happened. She was walking across the floor and caught her toe on a mat. She, too, healed quickly, but not before we incurred some more doctor’s bills.
Those unexpected bills can pile up fast if you’re not careful, especially if you don’t have a great insurance policy, which my kids don’t. To help prevent unexpected bills, parents need to help educate their children on how to avoid accidents. And we need to educate ourselves so we can have peace of mind, None of us want a anxiety attack whenever our kids step out onto a court or field because we fear they may get a ball to the face.
Some tips children can follow to help keep them safe include:
- Listen to their coaches and follow the rules! Depending on the sport involved, each have their own set of rules which need to be followed in order to keep players safe. Stick to them.
- Listen to your body. If it’s in pain, tell your coach. By ignoring the pain and discomfort, you could do worse damage to yourself. Ask my husband! He continued to play a soccer game with a broken ankle. It wasn’t the smartest move he could have made, and he knows it.
- Wear any required gear and extra if possible. If your child plays football, make sure they wear all of their pads. And if your child plays soccer and he’s a boy, I recommend a cup even if the league they’re participating in doesn’t require it. If not, they could end up with a ball or foot to the groin, and that could do some damage. I made my son wear a cup during this past season. He hated it, but I didn’t care. I wanted him to stay safe…and he did. In fact, I was upset when I found out it wasn’t required, but my husband was more so because he played soccer for years and remembers all too well how much a ball in the no no spot can hurt.
- Look into supplemental insurance. (Parents this ones for YOU!) Lets face it, most of us don’t have extra money in the bank to pay for unexpected out-of-pocket expenses, so a supplemental insurance plan can help out significantly if you find yourself on the receiving end of a bill.
About supplemental insurance
Can cover expenses incurred from the following:
- broken teeth
- ambulance, both ground and air
- ER visits
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