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Has Your Young Athlete Had Too Many Injuries?

Aug 11, 2015

Three out of four American families with school-aged children have at least one child involved with a sports team. Children gravitate towards sports because they’re a fun way to socialize with other children and typically run around outside. Parents also encourage their kids to play sports because they teach responsibility, confidence, and teamwork. Staying active and playing sports also reduces the risk of a child developing a chronic illness such as diabetes, cancer, or cardiovascular disease.

While it’s great for kids to start playing sports at a young age, it’s also important for parents to pay attention to their injuries. It’s common for children to experience injuries while they’re playing sports because they aren’t fully grown and their bodies aren’t as strong as an adult’s is.

It’s normal for kids participating in sports to get hurt, but it’s also important to realize how
often is too often. Too many injuries at a young age can cause serious problems in the future.

Estimates show that 3.5 million children aged 14 and younger were treated for sport injuries, with 2 million high school athletes being treated per year. Physicians are treating more sports-related injuries in young children because they’re pushing themselves harder, so overuse and stress injuries are becoming more common.

Some of the most common sports injuries in children include the following:

  • Knee injuries
  • Sprains and strains
  • Swollen muscles
  • Achilles tendon injuries
  • Pain along the shin bone
  • Fractures and dislocation

While these injuries are usually easy to treat when you’re an adult, they can’t always be treated the same way in children. Because a child’s body is still developing, it can be especially challenging to recover from an injury.

Take a knee injury, for example. It’s becoming more common for children to tear or otherwise damage their anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL. This is a serious injury that has a lengthy recovery period for adults, but they typically will make a fully recovery. However, this type of injury is more difficult to treat in children.

Because a child’s body is still developing, reconstructing the ACL may cause deformities that could ultimately cause problems for him or her in the future, such as uneven limb length. However, studies have found that if the operation is neglected, it could lead to early arthritis.

Neck and Back Injuries

Neck and back injuries are less common than the previously mentioned injuries, but they still occur, and when they do, they’re serious.

These types of injuries occur because of improper technique or overuse. Young children often have trouble learning proper techniques, such as tackling, so when they perform the motion, they end up hurting themselves or someone else.

How to Prevent Too Many Injuries

Overall, it’s beneficial for children to be involved in sports, but they should be taught the proper techniques for participating. Make sure that your child pays attention to his or her coaches during practices and asks questions if there’s something of which he or she is unsure.

If your child does suffer an injury, make sure he or she has plenty of time to heal before rushing back to practice. For more information about fractures and injuries,click here to schedule a consultation with a Premier physician.

For more information about fracture care, click here to download our free eBook,Understanding Fracture Care: Causes, Diagnosis, and Treatment.

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