Getting kids into sports at a young age is a great way to help them discover how to move and use their bodies while also helping to promote teamwork. Sports can keep their bodies in good physical shape, while helping to promote a healthy lifestyle that they can continue as they age.
As a parent though, one of the things that we worry about is our children getting injured or hurt while participating in sporting events.
There are plenty of options available in terms of children’s sports and activities, so if you’re looking for something that is a little less physically intense, but still a good workout with great teambuilding opportunities, there are many options available.
While a lot of the most popular team sports like football, hockey, and soccer, as well as individual sports like skateboarding/snowboarding and gymnastics, have a higher chance of injury, even the safest sports carry their own risks.
Proper equipment and coaching are essential in ensuring that everyone on the team stays safe. Knowing the rules and how to properly play the sport is the best way to help you avoid injury. You should also know the limits of your body and your skills, so that you don’t overexert yourself or move in a way that could cause injury.
Safest Sports to Play
As we mentioned above, there is always going to be some level of inherent risk of injury when it comes to playing a sport, but there are some sports you can choose that have less of a chance of injury than others.
Let’s take a look at some popular sports that have the lowest risk of injury when played correctly and with the proper equipment.
Track & Field
Track & Field consists of a number of different events where kids will compete as a team or in solo events. These events are non-contact events that utilize the speed, strength, and technique of the athlete in order to perform at the highest level.
The risk of injury is low when competing in track & field events mainly because there is no physical contact with other athletes during the competition. And while the risk of injury is low, it is not completely obsolete.
Track & field events consist of many different running activities including hurdles, which can pose a threat of injury if the proper training has not been done. The same can be said for running the relay races and sprints. Ankle twists, shin splints, and pulled muscles are just a few of the possible injuries that can happen from running.
In addition to the running events, things like shot put, high jump, long jump and discus can also lead to injury if not performed correctly, however these risks are much lower when compared to other sport options.
Running / Cross Country
While track & field consists of many different events, which also include running, there are high school and collegiate sports that consist of just running long distances. Cross country running is a sport in which teams and individuals compete in long distance running over different types of natural terrain.
Unlike track & field, running is the only event under the umbrella of cross country. The risk of injury while running long distances isn’t zero, as most people know, but there is a far less risk of injury when compared to contact sports. Muscle cramps, twisted ankles, bumps and bruises from falls, and other types of injuries, can occur while running these long distances over uneven terrain, but when it comes to overall sports, injuries are less likely.
Golf can be a relaxing sport to play as an individual and has very minimal risk of injury. There is no contact or running while playing golf, so the only risk of injury would come from muscle fatigue and cramping as well as joint damage from improper swinging motion.
This is why it’s extremely important to ensure that you’re using the correct equipment and know how to properly swing your club. An improper swing can cause joint pain and muscle issues over time, which can lead to further injuries down the road.
Overall though, golf has a very low risk factor when it comes to injuries.
Swimming is a very low impact low risk sport when it comes to injuries, as long as you know how to swim.
There’s the obvious risk factor if you’re not properly trained, or never learned how to swim, but in terms of injuries from the sport itself, the risks are very minimal.
Just like with the other non-contact sports listed on this list, proper technique and training are going to help prevent injuries related to swimming. There is no contact when competing in swimming races and relays, so physical injury due to other competitors is not a factor.
Tennis is extremely popular across most of the United States, and the world. It is a non-contact sport that can be played as an individual or as a team and provides a very low risk of injury to those that participate.
Proper footwear, equipment, and training will help provide the expertise you need to avoid injury while playing. Since it is non-contact, like the other sports mentioned above, there is no risk of injury due to being hit by other competitors.
You do run the risk of ankle injuries, scrapes and bruises, as well as muscle injuries if your technique is not correct, but overall the risk of severe injury is very low.
Safest Sports for Kids
If you’re looking for a sport that has the least potential for serious injuries, then the non-contact sports we mentioned above are great places to start.
Every physical sport that your child plays is going to come with some risk of injury due to a number of factors, but in general non-contact sports are going to be safer than contact sports like football and hockey.
Even sports like baseball and soccer, which don’t rely heavily on physical contact, come with a higher risk of injury than sports like golf or tennis, just because of the way the games are played and the actions performed during the matches.
Sports are a great way to get your kids active and using their bodies, but there is always going to be the risk of injury. With proper equipment, technique, and coaching, you should not have to worry about major injuries occurring while children are playing these sports, but it’s always important to be aware of the risks.