Sports Safety for Parents

The saying goes: “It takes a village.”  As Positive Sport Parent, you are part of the village to ensure your child’s safety.   Positive Sport Parents take an active role in ensuring the safety of their child as well as the other children on the field, ice, mat or in the pool.

Here are things to consider as you work to ensure your child’s safety in youth sports:

    Avoid Sports Injuries Youth sports

  • The Overall Reputation of the Program and Coaches. Shop around. Ask friends, family, and neighbors. Search online for information, news or ratings of the various youth sports organizations you are considering. Meet the leaders of those organizations and the specific coaches to whom your child may be assigned. If anything does not seem quite right, trust your gut and do not go there.

  • Weather. If conditions are too hot, cold or stormy (where lightning strikes are a risk), adjust. Some coaches have higher tolerance for these conditions than others. If you feel the weather creates a risk, contact the coach and excuse your child from practice.

  • Field/Court Conditions. When dropping your child off at practice, occasionally take a look around the grounds for broken glass on a blacktop, moisture on a court or holes or bare patches in a field.

  • Equipment. Make sure your child’s equipment is in working order - no splintered sticks, cracked helmets, ill-filling pads or misshapen mouth guards. Occasionally check the organization’s equipment for things like worn padding in mats or exposed corners on goals.

  • Hydration. Make sure your child is hydrated, especially in extreme heat and humidity. Help your child remember a water bottle even if you think the coach will provide water at a practice or game. Ask your child if the coach allows sufficient water breaks, especially in hot and humid conditions.

  • head Injuries Concussions Youth sports

  • CPR and First Aid. Make sure your child’s coaches and any other parent volunteers at practices are trained in CPR and First Aid.

  • Concussions. Head safety and concussions have become an  ever-growing concern. Ask your child’s coach about his or her preparedness for dealing with concussions. If you have any suspicion of a concussion or other head injury, get medical attention for your child and ensure there is no return to play until a doctor clears it- no matter how badly your child wants to play.

  • Rides Home. Make sure you are comfortable with how your child is getting to and from practices and games. Ask about school, team or league policies in advance. Talk to your fellow parents about carpooling and ensure that everyone who is participating has the right kind of vehicle coverage to ensure your child’s safety in case of a breakdown or worse, an accident.

  • Communication. Have a full list of contact information for your child’s coaches, and if possible some or all of the other parents involved with your child’s team.

We know this is not the most fun, exciting aspect of being a Positive Sport Parent, but if you take these ideas to heart, you will be much more able to relax and enjoy your child’s youth sports experience.


In an effort to benefit millions of youth athletes, parents and coaches, this article is among a series created exclusively for partners in the Liberty Mutual Insurance Play Positive program powered by Positive Coaching Alliance.

©2014 Liberty Mutual Insurance and Positive Coaching Alliance. All rights reserved. This material may not be distributed without express written permission. Any reproduction in whole or part by and individuals or organizations will be held liable for copyright infringement to the full extent of the law.

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