In the UK approximately 50,000 children are admitted to UK Accident & Emergency departments annually due to an injury related to overexertion. Overexertion is usually as a result of sports & exercise e.g. simply running around. Overexertion can lead to muscle cramps or in the worst cases blood clots and kidney damage or even kidney failure.
Acute Overexertion Safety Tips
- Heat is often a factor in overexertion. Carrying out strenuous physical exercise on a hot day will always carry a risk of this. Hydration is hugely important in the hours leading up to the exercise and periodically during the exercise when heat is involved.
- Even if the temperature is not hot it is still vitally important for muscles to be hydrated so get into the habit of ensuring your children regularly have water or better still a sports drink to replace lost minerals and salt when sweating.
- Electrolyte drinks such as non-fizzy Gatorade are quite useful if mild overexertion is suspected.
- Ensure your child has access to a First Aider when playing sport.
- Make sure your child is regularly well hydrated. Regular intakes of water are best for this rather than sugary fizzy drinks.
- Breaks from exercise should be regularly taken and some water taken and if required a small snack.
- Children, just like adults, should know their physical limits.
- Make sure your child uses good posture when carrying out exercise. If they are too tired then advise them to rest for a while until they are ready to continue. Continuing to exercise while exhausted is likely to lead to bad posture and subsequent injury as well as overexertion.
- When lifting a load, even for children, it is important to use good ergonomic techniques. The proper documented way to do it is to always plan the lift (decide where it is going, is it suitable for 1 person?, is the way clear?, is any stooping down required? Lift with feet apart and bend knees (not the back). Keep the load close to the body and walk slowly. Place the load down again without bending the back.