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Sports Injury in Children

Overview

In the United States, over 30 million children and teens participate in some form of organized sports. Still more participate in informal recreational activities. Sports participation has tremendous benefits in social and physical development of children including fighting childhood obesity, it has a downside: risk of sports related injuries. About 3.5 million injuries occur each year.
The most common injuries are sprains and strains.
Brain injury is the leading cause of sports-related death in children.
The majority of head injuries occur during bicycling, skateboarding, or skating incidents.
Many injuries occur as a result of falls, being struck by an object, collisions and overexertion during unorganized or informal sports activities.
About 60 percent of organized sports-related injuries occur during practice. About 20 percent of children and adolescents participating in sports activities are injured each year, and one in four injuries is considered serious.

Sports injuries include:

Sprains and Strains
Overuse Injuries
Ankle Sprain
Eye Injury
Spinal Cord Injury
Head Injury
Heat exhaustion and heat stroke
Spleen and Liver Injuries
Teeth Injuries
Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL)
Spinal Fracture
Fractures
Tennis Elbow
Dislocated Patella
Ace tabular Tears
Facial Fractures

Most common causes of sports injuries: What to avoid

• Not wearing proper safety gear and equipment, such as helmets and pads.
• Inappropriate shoes for the sport.
• Inappropriate skill, weight, physical and psychological maturity level for the sport.
• Lack of adult supervision.
• Lack of appropriate hydration.
• Unsafe playing environment.
• Lack of enforced sports rules.
• Too high or low temperatures.
• Lack of shock-absorbing playing surface.
• Lack of proper medical evaluation prior to participation in organized sports.
• Sudden, dramatically-increased activity levels (doing too much too soon).
• Inadequate rehabilitation of injuries before continuing to participate in a sport.

Safety Tips for All Sports

• Be in proper physical condition to play the sport.
• Follow the rules of the sport.
• Wear appropriate protective gear (for example, shin guards for soccer, a hard-shell helmet when facing a baseball or softball pitcher, a helmet and body padding for ice hockey).
• Know how to use athletic equipment.
• Always warm up before playing.
• Avoid playing when very tired or in pain.
• Get a preseason physical examination.
• Make sure adequate water or other liquids are available to maintain proper hydration.

Treatment


Treatment for sports-related injuries will vary by injury. But if your child suffers a mild injury the best initial treatment is easy to remember: RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation) the injury. Get seen by a doctor if any injury is severe.
Rest: Reduce or stop using the injured area for at least 48 hours. If you have a leg injury, you may need to stay off of it completely.
Ice: Put an ice pack on the injured area for 20 minutes at a time, four to eight times per day. Use a cold pack, ice bag, or a plastic bag filled with crushed ice that has been wrapped in a towel.
Compression: Ask your child’s doctor about elastics wraps, air casts, special boots, or splints that can be used to compress an injured ankle, knee, or wrist to reduce swelling.
Elevation: Keep the injured area elevated above the level of the heart to help decrease swelling. Use a pillow to help elevate an injured limb.

Resources

http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/sports_injuries/chi ld_sports_injuries.asp
http://www.stopsportsinjuries.org/sports-injury-prevention.aspx


Note: All information on our website is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.

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