Jan 13, 2014

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Sports Injuries in Children

sports injuries in childrenAccording to the Safe Kids Worldwide, nearly 38 million children and teenagers play some sort of sport in the United States every year, leaving the chances of injury wide open.  It has been found that one in every three child that plays a sport become injured enough to cause them to miss a game or practice.  Additionally, some sports or continuous play over the years places pressure on body parts, producing an increased risk of injury later down the road.   Below is a list of some of the most common seen sport injuries in children.  Recognizing, preventing and treating these injuries correctly help to alleviate the increased danger.

Orthopedic Sports Injuries in Children

Orthopedic injuries are one of the most common sports injuries in children who routinely play sports.  Falls, overexertion, lack of stretching and not allowing enough rest is the main reasons why children experience these injuries.  The following is a list of typical orthopedic sports injuries in children who play sports:

  • Sprains
  • Muscle Strains
  • Fractures to growth-plates
  • Tendinitis
  • Ligament tears
  • Joint Injuries

Recognizing an orthopedic injury is easy to do.  If your child is experiencing any swelling, appears to be limping, a bruise forms, or any pain in an injured area, then an orthopedic injury may be present.

To treat an orthopedic injury, you can do so by resting the injured area, icing, elevating and administering anti-inflammatory medication.  If the injury seems to be more severe, it is recommended that you visit your healthcare provider or an orthopedic surgeon to consider surgery for total recovery.  Your child might be required to wear a brace, sling or boot until the injury has healed itself.

How can you prevent Orthopedic sports Injuries in children?  Preventing an orthopedic injury includes understanding how to properly stretch and train without falling.  Being careful and trying not to overwork the body is essential as well.

Concussions

Concussions are quite common sports injuries in children who play sports.  A concussion includes a direct blow to the head, or a hit to the body that causes the head to be jerked back in a sudden instance.  Falling from play or running into an object or other player could cause a concussion.

If your child has hit his or her head during a game or practice, and appears to be confused, stunned or unsure of his or her surroundings, then a concussion may have occurred.  Other symptoms of a concussion can include headaches, dizziness, intense pressure in the head and even fuzzy or blurred vision.

Treating a concussion can vary depending upon the severity.  If your child is experiencing pressure or headaches and it seems to be getting worse, along with slurred speech or loss of consciousness, then it is advisable to take your child to the emergency room.  However, if your child seems to feel okay and is responsive to questions and those around, then it is advised that you contact your pediatrician or healthcare provider for further treatment options.

How can you prevent a concussion?  Advocating for your child and the asking the coaches to follow all of the safety guidelines is a step in the right direction for preventing concussions during sports.  Teaching football players how to tackle with their shoulders and body rather than their heads is a prime example for preventing concussion.  At home, teach your child how to protect themselves and to enforce safety during play and practice.

Final Thoughts

As a parent, you want to protect your child every moment of the day, but sometimes this is an impossible thing to do.  Taking the preventative measures and teaching your child how to protect them while playing sports is a step in the right direction.  What safety precautions do you take as a parent?  Have you experienced any of the two above mentioned sports injuries with your child?  Share your experiences and tips with us below.

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  • Darren

    I hate to say it, but there is no way to significantly reduce concussions in football without significantly changing the rules of the game. I played a lot of football in my youth and I love to watch my Cleveland Browns, but I do not plan on letting my 8-year-old son play football. Even at the high-school level, violent impacts to the head occur multiple times in every game. We used to call it “getting your bell rung” and we would laugh it off when someone came up woozy. I don’t think any permanent brain damage was done (my knee is another story), but all I can do is hope.

    • Warren

      Darren, I have to agree with you. I coached JV football in the 90’s and the official stance by my state athletic association was leading with your helmet was not allowed. We taught our kids to hit with their shoulders. That lasted about 5 minutes. Your head is on top of your shoulders and unless you want to get faked out or run over, you need to square up with the ball carrier and hit him head on. If you are interested in winning the game.

    • Lisa W

      Do you feel that the NFL program that is youth-focused (I think it’s called “Heads Up”) has any merit? It sounds like you think it won’t make a difference? My 8-year-old can’t wait to play football and my husband says he will support him. I want to gather as much information about football and concussions in any sport before he gets involved.

  • Fallon

    Any advice regarding weight training and how it affects the joints and ligaments? If there is anything I can do to keep my sons and daughter injury free I’d like to do it. On the one hand, I have been told that building up the muscles around knees and shoulders can reduce the likelihood of injury. The muscle absorbs more of the strain that would otherwise hit the joints. On the other hand, I hear that heavy weight training takes its cumulative toll on the joints and over time will weaken them. Any thoughts?