How sports can benefit your child

Whether it’s a traditional youth sport like soccer or baseball, or a less conventional choice like fencing or curling, there’s no question that sports are beneficial for kids. However, there can also be some health and safety concerns. Schedule a pre-participation physical exam for your child before he or she joins a sports team. You’ll find comprehensive, patient-centered care for your whole family at West Hills Hospital.

Sports reduce the risk of childhood obesity
Sports are a much healthier alternative to sedentary activities like video games and television. Many kids don’t get enough exercise. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture , children and teens ages six through 17 should get one hour or more of physical activity each day.

Exercising regularly helps prevent childhood obesity. This supports your child’s health now and throughout his or her lifetime. By maintaining a healthy weight, your child can reduce his or her risk of chronic diseases, such as:

  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Certain cancers

Exercise also supports healthy bone development, reducing the risk of osteoporosis later in life.

Sports support children’s socio-emotional health
Humans aren’t born with social skills. Children learn these skills as they grow, and sports help kids acquire them. Sports support the development of:

  • Leadership skills
  • Sportsmanship
  • Cooperation
  • Teamwork
  • Communication
  • Problem solving

Sports can also help kids develop emotional resiliency. They gain confidence and self-esteem by working with teammates to achieve a common goal. Kids also learn that it’s okay to fail sometimes, and that what truly matters is the ability to get back up on one’s feet and try again.

Sports participation supports academic success
Most kids probably aren’t trying to solve math problems while scoring goals on the field, but participating in sports does indeed support academic achievement. Sports teach kids the value of dedication, hard work and time management, and these are invaluable skills they can apply to their studies.

Accidents happen from time to time, even after taking precautions like giving your kids protective equipment for their sports activities. If your child suffers a sports injury, the emergency care physicians and nurses at West Hills Hospital are always here to help. For non-emergent questions, call a registered nurse in West Hills at (818) 676-4321.

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