Sports Safety Tips: Common Youth Sports Injuries
Does your child play a sport? Sports are wonderful for a child’s physical and mental health and development, but they can also cause injuries that may last a lifetime if they go untreated.
To protect your child from injuries, it’s important that you stay educated on common sports injuries and sports safety tips. Even before technique and skill come into play, sports safety is the most crucial aspect of youth sports.
Read on for our quick guide on recognizing and preventing sports injuries.
Most Common Youth Sports Injuries
While there’s a wide array of injuries that can happen as a result of playing sports, there are a few that are more common than others. These are the ones that are most preventable, mainly because you know what to look out for.
The first, and sometimes most devastating, is a concussion. Concussions are common in contact sports (notably football). A reported 16.1% of students who play at least one sport have reported a concussion.
Sprains are more common than tears, and they’re also easier to fix. Depending on the sport, ankle and wrist sprains are the most prevalent. Sprains also put a strain on the related ligaments after a twisting motion, but because the ligaments are still intact, the sprain should heal in 8 weeks.
Overuse injuries are also common in all sports. They often appear as knee or elbow pain due to the excessive amount of pressure placed on underdeveloped joints. If the young athlete doesn’t take a break from sports, they may require physical therapy.
Sports Safety Tips
While these injuries are common, that doesn’t mean that they’re unavoidable. There are a few things that your child can do to keep himself as safe as possible while playing.
The first is to prepare before each game. Depending on the sport, some athletes (like gymnasts) need to stretch, while others should warm up with light cardio activities.
It’s also important to wear proper safety gear. You’re more likely to experience an ankle sprain, for example, if you’re not wearing shoes with enough traction for the field or court.
Young athletes also need to know their limits. Children often feel invincible, but by stopping and taking breaks, they will reduce their risk of long-term injuries.
Where to Go in the Event of an Injury
For simple injuries, your child can visit their family doctor. However, many doctors cannot see your child without an appointment.
Concussions, the most dangerous of the injuries, should be treated as soon as possible. In the event of a concussion, you should take your child to your local emergency room. Take note of the common symptoms of concussions so you know when to seek help.
Keep Your Young Athlete Safe
By keeping sports safety tips in mind, you can help your child stay safe and healthy while they play. With enough preparation, caution, and rest, sports injuries are preventable.
When your child does experience a sports injury, we’re here to help. Physicians Premier Emergency Room is a Corpus Christi ER that’s dedicated to helping patients of all ages in an efficient and compassionate manner. No matter when your child needs help, we’re here for you.
Harvard Health. “Concussion.” Harvard Health, Harvard Health Publishing, Jan. 2019, www.health.harvard.edu/a_to_z/concussion-a-to-z
DePadilla L, Miller GF, Jones SE, Peterson AB, Breiding MJ. “Self-Reported Concussions from Playing a Sport or Being Physically Active Among High School Students”— United States, 2017. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2018;67:682–685. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm6724a3