Growing child obesity rates are encouraging many parents to sign up their children in plenty of sports in an admirable effort to beat the puppy fat problem. Many of the sports injuries that kids suffer from can be avoided with a little knowledge and application of common sense. Kids and sports injuries don’t have to go hand in mitt. Read on for some handy hints on preventing some of those visits to the emergency room.
There are basically 3 types of sport injuries seen in kids:
1. Acute injuries. These are the ones that have parents groaning from the sidelines. The types of crashes and spills that will often necessitate a rushed visit to the nearest clinic, and may well end up with a plaster cast as a souvenir. Acute injuries often result in fractured bones, sprains, strains, torn ligaments, bruises, and more scarily, head and spinal injuries. Teens are most at risk of acute injuries.
* While some acute injuries are accidents, many can be avoided by using both correct protective gear and the proper equipment.
2. Re-injuries occur when children return to sport before their injury is fully recovered. Re-injuries can also occur when previously injured muscles and joints are not adequately warmed up or stretched prior to sport. Re-injuries can also happen when de-conditioned children go back to their sport too suddenly or do too much too soon.
3. Over-use injuries. While participating in sports is excellent for the overall physical and mental health of children, there can definitely be too much of a good thing. Children’s bodies need time to recover and grow. Over exercising your child can result in burn out and over-use injuries. Your child’s niggling pain will never go away if it is never given a chance for recovery. Over-use injuries can result in life long problems and arthritic conditions. Is that championship or training session important enough to jeopardize your child’s long term health?
Children are more susceptible to over-use injuries as their bones and joints are still growing. Repetitive movements can stress joints and muscles. The more time your child spends on a particular sport the more chance there is of developing an over-use injury.
Common examples of over-use injuries are:
*shin splints which cause pain at the front of the lower legs. These are normally caused by going too hard at the beginning of a season or running for too long on too hard a surface.
* swimmer’s shoulder is characterized by pain in the back of the shoulder joint on over head movements. This is usually associated with both ball throwing and swimming.
* spondylylosis is characterized by pain in the lower back. This type of injury is seen in fast bowlers in cricket, gymnasts, divers, weight lifters, and soccer and football players. This type of injury is caused by excessive twisting, flexing, and over extending of the lower back.
* Little League elbow results in pain in the elbow joint by ball pitchers.
Ways to help minimize sports injuries:
* always use appropriate equipment and correct protective gear.
* select age and size appropriate activities.
* warm up and cool down.
* coaches should be suitably qualified.
* use correct technique.
* limit excessive movements that are repeatedly stressing particular joints.
Playing sport is beneficial for all children. Many sports injuries involving kids can be avoided with a little common sense, appropriate preparation, and the correct technique.