Doctors estimate that the over half of all sports injuries in kids can be prevented. When you sign your child up to play sports, your first thought probably is not about them getting injured. You want your young athlete to enjoy the benefits of sports – improved self-esteem and camaraderie, not to mention better overall health. But injuries in children are a reality of the game, regardless of what game they play.
Are Children More Susceptible to Sports Injuries?
Children’s bones, muscles, tendons and ligaments are still growing making them more susceptible to injury. Since it is the weakest part of a child’s body, growth plates at the end of long bones are especially prone to sports injuries. An injury to the ankle, for example, which would cause a sprain in an adult is likely to result in a bone fracture in a child.
Tips to Help Prevent Sports Injuries in Children
Doctors estimate that the over half of all sports injuries in kids can be prevented. As a parent or caregiver, you can provide education about what causes sport injuries and reinforce the importance of sports safety.
Here are some tips to help protect your young athlete from sports injuries this season and year-round.
Get a Sports Physical
If your child is planning to participate in a sport this season, it is important to ensure they are in proper physical condition to play. A pre-participation physical exam (PPE) can help find any underlying problems that keep a child from competing safely.
Abide by the Game’s Rules
Sports rules are designed to help prevent children’s sports injuries. They define what is and what is not allowed to happen during certain situations in competition. They also govern things like appropriate protective gear. Ask detailed questions early to ensure the child is using the right equipment and properly.
Warmup and Cool Down
The most important reason not to skip the warmup and cool down is to prevent injury. Warming up muscle groups with sport-specific exercises can help prevent different types of sports injuries and keep a young athlete off the sidelines.
Proper hydration can help reduce the risk of injury because it ensures that muscles, joints and blood vessels are functioning properly. If your child fails to hydrate, it can lead to muscle fatigue, confusion and loss of coordination.
Don’t Overdo It
Overuse injury in children is common. Unlike acute injuries that are caused by a sudden trauma, these types of sports injuries happen gradually over time. Overuse injuries occur most frequently in children who play one sport since repetitive motions can cause microtrauma to tendons, bones and joints. If a child is experiencing pain, you should talk with the coach about keeping them out of the game or about alternative options until they feel better.
Winning can be exhilarating. But, as a caregiver, you should create a healthy atmosphere that focuses on more than just the score. When you follow safety measures and encourage your young athlete to have fun, chances are they will have an experience that will keep them active and healthy.
Sports Injury Treatment for Children in the Greater Philadelphia Area
Even when proper safety measures are taken, it is possible for your child to get injured playing sports. The type of injury will determine what course of treatment is best. Everest Urgent Care medical providers are experienced at treating sports injuries and providing sports physicals. Our Urgent Care centers are open extended hours and on weekends with onsite X-Ray and lab so you can get quicker diagnosis and treatment. And we have physical therapy, if needed, for follow-up. No appointment is needed for either a sports physical or injury-related appointment.