Play Hard, Play Safe: Tips to help kids avoid accidents on the field

Soccer is a contact sport. It's fast and hard, and the action never stops. It's no wonder we see soccer injuries at almost every game!  On TV, I've seen horrific injuries: torn hamstrings, twisted ankles, concussions, broken limbs. I've seen a guy knocked unconscious in mid air and another guy's leg snap in two. Thank goodness my sons have never had any serious injuries from soccer, but they've had their fair share of minor ones.  On the soccer field, they've been kicked in the gut, clipped on the ankle, tripped, had their hands stepped on.

I would be a nervous wreck if I stopped to think what might happen every time my sons play in a soccer game (or even at practice!). I wouldn't dream of stopping them from playing the game they love. Besides, there's risk in many things. Our record off the field is worse; we've had a chipped tooth, a broken finger, multiple sprains and a broken arm. We'd rather manage those risks than be ruled by them.  Accidents do happen, but we can take steps to avoid them, and we can make plans for what to do when accidents happen. Here are some tips to help your child avoid injuries on the sports field:
  • Wear protective gear, such as helmets, protective pads, and other gear.
  • Do strengthening exercise to build muscles that protect your bones and ligaments.
  • Warm up and cool down.
  • Use proper form.
  • Play it safe: no headfirst tackles, sliding tackles, or body checks.
  • Stay hydrated.
  • Don't play through pain. If something hurts, stop.
  • Don't play when you're injured.
  • Take a rest day.

Aflac, the leading provider of voluntary insurance in the United States and an official partner of the Heisman Trophy, is kicking off the college football season with a new television commercial, an online sweepstakes and a partnership with 1991 Heisman Trophy winner Desmond Howard.

Sports and Aflac go hand in hand: the company's voluntary insurance policies can help policyholders cover the unexpected costs that come with a serious illness, injury, or loss. We're not just talking about medical costs (that's what medical insurance is for!). We're talking about other costs that may not be covered by medical insurance, such as broken teeth, lacerations, concussions, ambulance transportation, and ER visits. It doesn't have to be a medical cost, either: cash benefits can be used to pay rent, gas, groceries, and childcare (what if you have to be with your child in the hospital for days and can't get to work?).

Parents have enough to worry about when their child goes out to play sports. They don't need the extra worry of how to pay for all those expenses (medical and non-medical) associated with an injury. Insurance can give parents peace of mind -- should an accident occur, insurance lets the whole family focus on moving forward and getting better.

Win the ultimate college football weekend and a chance to meet Desmond Howard

Aflac is giving three lucky college football fans the chance to win the Ultimate College Football Experience Sweepstakes! The prize package includes:

  • 2 tickets to a college football game in early November
  • Meet-and-greet with Heisman trophy winner Desmond Howard
  • Round-trip airfare
  • Hotel accommodations
  • Ground transportation to/from events
  • $500 prepaid debit card

Enter once per 24 hours on Facebook; for bonus entries, share on Twitter. Enter today and then spread the word to let your friends know it’s #GameOn!

CONSUMER NOTICE: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. PURCHASE WILL NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED OR RESTRICTED BY LAW. Open to legal permanent residents of 50 U.S. states and DC, 21 or older, who have Internet access and valid email address prior to 08/28/14. To enter and for Official Rules, including odds and prize descriptions, click here: This sweepstakes is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook or Twitter. For a winner's list (after 11/10/14), visit the Ultimate College Football Experience tab of this page or mail request to Aflac "Ultimate College Football Experience" (Specify Winner List), Media Relations, 1932 Wynnton Road, Columbus, GA 31999. Sponsor: American Family Life Assurance Company of Columbus.

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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