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Sport and Recreation Safety

Children

​​​​​​​​​​​Participating in sport and recreation activity is an excellent way for children aged 6 to 12 years to achieve the minimum 60 minutes per day of moderate to vigorous physical activity recommended by the Public Health Agency of Canada. Children who avoid major injury are more likely to continue being healthy and active for life.

Falls are the most common type of physical injury requiring medical care. Younger children age 5 to 9 are most often injured on playgrounds. Children age 9 to 12 are most likely to be injured during organized sport.

To reduce your child’s risk of being injured while taking part in sports and recreation make sure they are in a safe environment, are wearing the proper protective gear and have developed the minimal skills necessary to participate safely in their chosen activity. Don’t let your children do high-risk activities like jumping on trampolines because they could have a serious injury.

Safe Environments

Safe sport and recreation environments provide children with physical, emotional and psychological protection.

  • Physical protection means making sure ice surfaces and fields are kept in good playing condition. Playgrounds should meet the Canadian Paediatric Societies – Playground Safety. For more information on Playgrounds, take the Playground YES Test.
  • Physical protection also means children are properly supervised for age and activity. When your child participates in organized sports, an adult should have training in how to treat an injured child. Your child’s coach should know how to prevent and treat a concussion.
  • Emotional and psychological protection is also very important for children participating in sport and recreation. Coaches should be skilled and positive role models who help your child learn new skills in a supportive and caring environment. Insist on knowing about your coach’s background before allowing your child to play on organized sport teams. For more information on Child Protection in Sport click here.

Are Home Trampolines Safe?

  • Alberta Health Services and the Canadian Pediatric Society don’t recommend buying or using trampolines at home (including cottages and summer residences) for children and youth.
  • ​The risk of the trampoline is in the use of the trampoline. Parents may think that safety nets, most often sold with trampolines to prevent people from falling off, will reduce this risk, but in reality, fewer than 30% of trampoline injuries are caused by children falling off the trampoline.

Protective Gear

Children who don’t wear or use protective equipment are at more risk for sport-related injury. Get the right gear for each sport, make sure it fits, and make sure children wear it properly every time they play. For information on which helmet for which activity, click here.

Age-appropriate Activities and Training

Make sure that your child’s activities are appropriate for their age, physical ability, and thinking ability. Offer professional instruction, such as lessons for skating, skiing, or biking.

Current as of: March 13, 2017

Author: Provincial Injury Prevention Program, Alberta Health Services