Keeping your kid safe. It's the number one goal of any parent, whether it has to do with sports, or anything else.
Which makes this reality:
"Sports are becoming way more competitive," Mesquite Poteet Athletic Trainer Seira Deary said, "at a lot earlier age."
...concerning to parents.
"There isn't a safe sport. There is not a safe sport."
Bucky Taylor wrote the book on concussion protocol at the high school level. A decade ago, when many leagues, states, and other organizations were just catching wind of the concussion problem, Bucky developed the protocol to help prevent brain damage. But there's no way to avoid the potential for injury."Every sport has got it's inherent risk," Taylor said. "Every sport you have a concussion. I mean, every one. Even golf, you can get a concussion playing golf. It's hard
So what's a parent to do?
"Just ask some questions. And if you don't like what you're hearing, don't register your kid," said Anthony Chance, director of North Texas Youth Football.
"It's a very safe game," Chance says of football. "If the coaches have the proper training."
Chance says it's crucial that coaches are taught how to coach tackling, blocking, any form of contact, in any sport... and to know what to look for.
"If it's a big hit, it used to be 'get up, ain't nothin' wrong with you boy, let's go,'" Chance recalled. "Now, it's 'hey man, take a seat, let's take a look at you.'"
But it's not just about concussions... there are a multitude of injuries kids can suffer while playing sports. So what questions do you need to ask?
"Make sure your youngster gets proper coaching. That the people that are coaching your kids, they know the right technique," Taylor instructed.
"Those are things that, if you teach them young, they'll be more of a habit, things that they learn early, and so that does limit the risk of injury later," Deary added.
"Make sure they have the right equipment," Taylor said.
"Go to your local sporting goods store. Purchase your equipment. Keep your receipt," Chance advised. "Bring your equipment to the coach or the organization, and let them fit the kid, and make sure that it fits properly."
"And you need to take into consideration that your youngster is growing," Taylor said. "Last year's equipment may not fit this year's youngster."
"There are even ways that you can fall correctly, just to make sure you avoid injury," Deary said. "So, we can educate kids on that, and we're also there to help them, should something happen, to help prevent further damage."
And one other thing that's important to remember -- injuries can happen doing anything. Don't let the risk keep you from letting your kid play.
"The benefits of sports," Taylor said, "greatly outweigh the risk of injury."