Whether your child is the school quarterback, a member of the track team, or casual athlete when it’s time for a weekend biking excursion, encouraging pleasure in sports at a young age builds valuable healthy habits. We know that the benefits of an active life far outweigh the obesity and diabetes risks of a sedentary lifestyle spent in front of a television or computer.
At Spine & Sport Management, we know that an active lifestyle also has a downside. The U.S. Government reports that more than 2.6 million children up to 19 years of age are treated in hospital emergency rooms for sports and recreation-related injuries each year. Sports injuries in children range from minor scrapes and bruises to serious brain and spinal cord injuries.
Taking steps to prevent sports injuries begins with awareness. Keep these most common sports-related injuries in mind:
- Sprains and strains. Ankle sprains are the most common athletic injury. Sprains occur when a ligament connecting two or more bones in a joint becomes damaged. Strains are also common, and involve damage to a muscle or tendon.
- Growth plate injuries. Growth plates are areas of developing tissues at the end of the long bones in growing children and adolescents. As the tissue growth becomes complete, growth plates are replaced by solid bone. These injuries require medical treatment from an orthopedic doctor who specializes in bone injuries. Your child’s growth plates are located at the ends of these bones:The long metatarsal bones and phalanges in the hand and fingers
- The radius and ulna bones in the forearm
- The femur in the upper leg
- The tibia and fibula in the lower leg
- The metatarsals and phalanges in the foot
- Repetitive motion injuries. When bones, muscles, and tendons are subjected to repeated stress from overuse, children are at risk for stress fractures, tendonitis, and inflammation.
- Heat-related illnesses. Heat illness is always dangerous. Children are particularly at risk because they perspire less than adults, and their core body temperature will be higher before sweating is triggered. Heat illnesses include dehydration, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke.
Although injuries can happen to anyone from a child to a seasoned athlete there are important preventative measures that parents can take to minimize injury risks.
Understanding the risks is the first step in supporting a safe environment for your children’s sports activities.
We want your family to enjoy the health and social benefits of sports now, and establish a foundation for healthy activity over a lifetime.
If you or your child suffer from a sport-related injury seek emergency treatment first then call us for an appointment to help you understand your treatment and recovery options.