Sports are an essential development activity for your kids to stay active, improve their physical health, build self-esteem and create an additional social circle. But, like with all things, sports come with no guarantees. The reality is that in 2021 over 2.6 million kids ended up in the ER due to sports related injuries. While sports are beneficial for your kids to get involved in, we want to discuss the downside: injury. In this article, we will discuss the most common sports-related injuries in kids and what you can do to help prevent them.
- Sprains and Strains: Sprains and strains are the most common sports-related injury in kids by a long shot. They can occur in various parts of the body, such as the ankles, wrists, and knees. Sprains happen when the ligaments are stretched or torn, while strains occur when the muscles or tendons are overworked. To prevent sprains and strains, kids should warm up properly for at least 5 minutes before participating in sports. It’s also a good idea to equip your kids with all the appropriate safety gear you can.
- Concussions: Concussions are a type of traumatic brain injury (or TBI) that can occur from a blow to the head or a sudden jolt to the body. Concussions can cause a variety of symptoms, including headache, dizziness, confusion, and memory loss. To help prevent concussions, kids should wear proper head protection when playing sports, such as a helmet or mouthguard. Read more about this: What To Do If You Suspect A Concussion?
- Fractures: The second highest number of injuries, fractures are broken bones that can occur from falls, collisions, or overuse. The most common fractures in kids occur in the arm, wrist, or leg. To help prevent fractures, kids should participate in age-appropriate sports and activities, and wear well-fitted protective gear, such as knee pads or shin guards….oh, and maybe they should avoid the more aggressive kids in the field.
- Overuse Injuries: Overuse injuries occur when a child repeatedly performs the same motion such as throwing a ball, leading to pain, swelling and overall discomfort in the affected area. To prevent overuse injuries, kids should take breaks, vary their activities, stretch properly and partake in strengthening exercises.
- Joint Dislocations: Dislocations occur when bones are moved out of place, such as in the shoulder or elbow. Dislocations can cause pain, swelling, and a loss of function in the affected area. To help prevent dislocations, kids should wear appropriate protective gear, such as shoulder pads, and participate in age-appropriate sports and activities. Staying physically active actually helps with muscle and tension strength, to make dislocations an overall less likely occurrence.
Sports-related injuries are a common occurrence for kids, but there are steps parents and kids can take to help prevent them. By wearing proper safety gear, engaging in age-appropriate sports and activities, taking breaks, and performing proper stretching and strengthening exercises, kids can reduce their risk of injury and stay active and healthy. If you suspect your child has sustained a sports-related injury, it’s important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. With the right treatment and care, most kids can make a full recovery and get back to enjoying the sports they love!