Preventing Sports Injuries In Children

Youngsters are particularly prone to sports-related injuries, but there are steps coaches and parents can take to keep young athletes healthy and active.

Children love playing sports, whether on organized teams or in neighborhood pickup games. In fact, more than 46 million children participate in sports each year, with most reaping the benefits of physical activity and teamwork. But with so many youngsters participating in these activities, there will inevitably be some injuries. In fact, one in three children playing team sports faces an injury serious enough to be benched. But most injuries are preventable, and knowledge is key to prevention.

Benefits of Participating in Sports

In addition to keeping kids in shape, sports also improve coordination, self-esteem, and discipline. Team sports also promote teamwork, a valuable skill not always learned in the classroom, and cooperation with others. And while losing isn’t easy, it’s important for kids to learn how to accept defeat and try again. Many children become close friends with their teammates and learn valuable social and communication skills.

Sporting Hazards

For most youngsters, the benefits of sports far outweigh the risks, but children are still growing, and injuries can impact them more than they would an adult. Muscles, tendons, ligaments, and bones are rather susceptible to injury, and sudden trauma like twists, falls, or collisions can lead to more than just a bruised knee; sports medicine physicians often see injuries like strains and sprains, broken bones, and growth plate injuries that affect bone growth. Overuse can also cause injuries when kids practice too long or too hard without adequate rest in between exercise sessions.

Preventing Sports Injuries

There are a number of steps parents and coaches can take to ensure kids remain safe on the field or court. The first is proper age-appropriate physical conditioning and training to ensure children are in good shape before joining the team. This conditioning should also incorporate stretching techniques and adequate warm-up exercises for their particular sport. Protective gear is also a must, and kids should be given a lesson in how to properly use or adjust helmets, padding, mouthpieces, protective eyewear, and other safety equipment.

Too often young athletes are playing only one sport all year long without the potential for rest or recovery. Sports medicine specialists now understand that this is not a healthy strategy. In fact, young athletes who play or perform a single sport greater than eight months out of the year are at a significantly increased risk of experiencing an injury compared to the other youths who participate in different sports. Playing only one sport may overload developing structures causing overuse injuries.

Creating a Supportive Atmosphere

Children can also feel pressure to win, so it’s vital to their emotional health that parents and coaches foster a supportive atmosphere, emphasizing teamwork and sportsmanship over winning. When children are properly cared for physically and emotionally by their coaches, they’re a lot less likely to face severe injury and stress.

If your child has been experiencing pain during sports or other concerning symptoms, call 360-ORTHOPEDICS at 941-951-2663 to schedule an appointment. You may also schedule an appointment through our website. Our commitment is to get our patients back on their feet, back to work, back in the game, and back to life.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Four Tips for Running Again After an Injury

After a serious injury, you should work closely with an orthopedic doctor to carefully plan a return to running. While limiting activity too much can compromise strength, endurance, and flexibility, getting back to your regular regimen too soon can...

When Should You See a Doctor for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Numbness, weakness, and tingling in the hands often signify carpal tunnel syndrome. Explore these symptoms and the importance of seeking prompt care. Carpal tunnel syndrome results in pain, weakness, tingling, and numbness caused by the compression of...

Three Telltale Signs of an ACL Tear

An ACL tear is a common sports injury that affects the anterior cruciate ligament, which is one of the knee’s main support structures. Damage to the ACL typically results from impact that occurs when you suddenly stop or change direction while playing...

Rehabilitation Exercises After a Hip Replacement

After a hip replacement, you should perform rehabilitation exercises to promote healing and muscle strength. Below is a list of activities that can be beneficial for your recovery after a hip replacement. Quad Sets The quadriceps are muscles that...

Is 360 Orthopedics Open During COVID-19?

It is our goal to keep you informed as to changes and updates regarding the COVID-19 pandemic locally as it affects our business, staff, and patients. 360 Orthopedics is considered a medically essential service and to that end, we continue to serve our...