As children take part in more recreational sports activities, the number of pediatric sports injuries are are on the rise in America. Playing sports as a child can be a fun and memorable experience, and certainly not something that should normally be discouraged. Sports teach children discipline, sportsmanship, and the importance of teamwork. However, it’s important to also teach children about sports safety and how to prevent sport injuries. An injury doesn’t mean they need to quit sports, but it an often mean they need to take a break, and sometimes seek out an orthopedic specialist for treatment and optimal healing. Here are some of the common types of injuries children get while playing sports.
Soft injuries are pretty common among young children playing sports. These types of injuries heal quickly with little medical attention, but they can be painful.
Some of the most common soft injuries that children who play sports experience are:
Sprained ankles – Swelling and pain in the ankle caused by too much force put on the ligament that holds your ankle bones together. This can happen when the ankle experiences a sudden and forceful roll, twist, or turn.
Bruises – Bruises happen when there are tears in the blood vessels located beneath the skin. It is common among children who play sports because there are more chances for them to fall or bump and crash into other people or equipment.
Older children who play sports on a regular basis such as a high school football player or a teenage gymnast are at a higher risk of getting acute injuries. These type of injuries require medical attention and treatments to fix. They also often require a longer time to heal.
Some common acute injuries children who play sports experience are:
ACL tears – The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) gets torn when the leg twists suddenly and forcefully while the foot stays planted on the ground. This is a very common injury among athletes.
Shoulder dislocation – Children who play sports can also get a dislocated shoulder when they fall on the arm forcefully.
Overuse injuries take place when a muscle, tendon, or ligament is repeatedly put in the same motion. This puts extra stress on the bones and muscles and ends up causing an injury. Unlike acute and serious injuries, overuse injuries do not happen suddenly. They are caused by long term stress put on the body which wears it down enough to cause injury.
Some of the most common overuse injuries for children who play sports are:
Little League elbow – Pain in the elbow caused by repeated forceful throwing.
Shin splints – Pain in the front, lower part of the legs caused by repeated force put on legs due to running or overtraining in a short period of time.
How to Prevent Injuries
There are many ways to decrease the risk of developing sports injuries in children. Here are some tips you can use to make sure your children can play sports as much as they want without getting injured.
Stretch and warm up – Make sure your child stretches and does warm ups before playing any sport. Skipping these two steps is often the cause of sports injuries. When the body has been resting for several hours, ligaments, tendons, and muscles become smaller. If you suddenly force them to stretch when playing a sport instead of gradually stretching them through stretching and warm ups, you run the risk of developing an injury.
Supervise children – Playing sports requires discipline and following directions. It’s natural for children to get caught up in the game and not play the sport in the intended way. Make sure to watch children when they play sports and correct them when they play unsafely.
Proper equipment – Equipment serves as a dependable barrier against injuries. It’s essential that your child use proper equipment like pads and helmets when playing sports.
The experts at Total Orthopaedic Care have a wealth of knowledge and experience on pediatric sports injuries. Our doctors use state of the art technology and treatments to customize an effective treatment plan for you. Call 954-735-3535 or schedule an appointment online at our Pembroke Pines office or our Lauderdale Lakes office. For your convenience, we offer same day appointments.