A young Singapore boy dies while playing football in school. How did this tragedy occur? How can we minimise sports injuries in children?
In a most unfortunate turn of events, a 13-year-old Singapore boy died when he got injured while playing, during physical education (PE) class in school.
Singapore boy dies
According to The Straits Times, the incident happened today (April 24) morning at Geylang Methodist Secondary School. The boy was playing football with his friends during PE lessons, when he grabbed on to the goal post.
It fell on him, and hit his head, injuring him badly.
The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) was alerted, and the boy was taken to KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital (KKH) by ambulance. An SCDF spokesman has been quoted as saying, “A boy with head injuries was taken to KKH and CPR was performed on him en route to the hospital.”
Sadly, he died soon after, and the school was informed.
We offer our heartfelt condolences to the family of this young boy, whose routine day at the school ended in tragedy. We also hope that schools will take adequate safety measures to protect their students from sports injuries.
Preventing sports injuries in children
Kids, especially those younger than 8 years old, are less coordinated and have slower reaction times than adults because they are still growing and developing. Also, kids may not be able to judge the risks of certain activities as well as adults would. Here are some tips for preventing sports related injuries in children:
- Know the rules: In every sport, there is a correct way and a wrong way of doing things. The child should be educated in the rules of the game. He should know that these rules are in place to help keep him safe.
- Use safety gear and proper equipment: Protective equipment, like mouth guards, helmets, pads and shoes, are very important for injury prevention. Check that your child is playing on safe surfaces. For example, check for basketball pole padding and anchored goalposts.
- Diet and hydration: It’s important to provide a well-balanced diet full of fruits, vegetables and lean proteins, and to maintain a regular eating schedule.
Heat-related illness is also a concern, especially during hot and humid days. Parents should make sure that their children have adequate water before, during and after play, and watch for any signs of a heat-related illness, including fatigue, nausea, vomiting, confusion or fainting.
- Warm up first: Light stretching and jogging before practices and games helps warm the muscles to make them more flexible and prepare them for activity. Cooling down with stretching afterwards helps the muscles recover and helps prevent injuries.
- Rest: Adequate rest is required between practices, games and events. A lack of sleep and muscle fatigue predisposes a player to injury.
- Recognise injury and get help early: Never let your child play through pain. Kids will often try to play through pain to avoid missing a big game or being seen as weak. Help your child learn to listen to their body and understand that pain is their body’s way of telling them to rest.
Sports like soccer, baseball and even basketball can lead to head injuries if proper precautions aren’t taken. Early treatment is vital.
According to a 2010 study published in the journal “Pediatrics,” young athletes are more susceptible to the effects of concussions because their brains are still developing.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all children who suffer a concussion must be evaluated by a physician, and rest physically and mentally – meaning no television, video games or homework for at least 7 days.
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