Tips for Helping Your Children Avoid Sports Injuries

Monday, October 27, 2014

Last year at this time, we were getting ready to embark on a family vacation to sunny Florida. We were excited about spending long, lazy days at the beach and the pool. There was just one problem.

My youngest daughter Harper had a broken left arm. Swimming was not an option.

It had happened about 5 weeks earlier when she was at a routine gymnastics practice. She was working on perfecting a front flip on the trampoline. She panicked mid-air and came crashing down awkwardly on her left arm. She suffered a compound fracture, and we were left scrambling.

As parents, my husband and I were completely caught off guard. There was the whole physical aspect of her injury. She'd have to adjust to having the use of only one arm for about a month as she wore a full cast from shoulder to arm.

Then there was the whole financial aspect of her injury. We had primary insurance coverage, but we were not familiar with our plan coverage in the event of a major injury. Harper's injury required surgery and an overnight hospital stay. Not only that, but she was transported from the gymnastics facility to the hospital via ambulance.

In addition to being stressed about her injury, I was also growing concerned about mounting medical costs, including follow up visits once she was discharged from the hospital.

Could her injury have been prevented? Perhaps. Many of the injuries that our children sustain are preventable by sticking to a few safety tips while on the field or court:

1. Follow the rules
Rules are put in place for a reason. They protect the safety of the athletes. It's easy to get lost in the moment when you are passionately playing a sport you love, but it's not the time to be a daredevil.

2. Use all provided equipment
Just as rules are necessary, so is the proper equipment. Don't skimp on equipment. If you should be wearing protective gear, be sure to have it on and that it is fitting properly.

3. Follow the doctor's orders
Your child is likely to be anxious to get back out on the field again. It's normal. But it's not safe. The doctor has put together a treatment plan to help your child recover properly so that he or she can be back on field again soon.

4. Have proper coverage
When you have kids, accidents happen. You can be more prepared with supplemental insurance to help you cover out-of-pocket expenses. According to the 2014 Aflac WorkForces Report, 66 percent of U.S. workers could not afford the costs associated with a serious illness or injury. Voluntary insurance plans help provide the peace of mind and cash benefits to help your child get back in the game fast.

Supplemental accident insurance pays the policyholder cash benefits for the unexpected medical and everyday expenses that quickly add up. We didn't have supplemental accident insurance when Harper broke her arm. The facility where she was injured provided secondary insurance, but there were still expenses that we had to pay out of our own pockets.

That’s where Aflac comes in to help. When you have an Aflac supplemental insurance plan and suffer a serious illness or injury, Aflac helps ease the financial stress and provides cash benefits to help pay for out-of-pocket expenses.

Supplemental insurance could help cover such expenses as broken teeth, concussions, ambulatory expenses, and emergency room visits as well as other expenses that may not be fully covered by your major medical insurance.

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I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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