Kids getting injured is unfortunately a part of life, and once they start playing competitive sports, the risk of injury may increase. However, there are plenty of ways to prepare for this and even prevent serious injury from happening. The most important thing is to not be scared and avoid sporty activities for fear of injury. After all, sports are a great way to get outside, develop confidence, and form lasting habits supporting overall health.
So in this article, we’re going to be discussing the most common kids’ sports injuries to look out for. And once you understand which injuries are more likely, you’ll be able to plan ahead to prevent them.
The Most Common Sports Injuries for Kids
These are extremely common and can happen at the most random of times. Sprains usually happen when landing on your feet and the ankle gets turned so that most of the pressure is applied to the ankle instead of foot. It is also likely to happen when landing on an uneven surface or someone else’s foot, for example in a basketball game.
Usually felt in the front part of the knee, often called patellofemoral syndrome, is another one of the most common sports injuries for kids and teens. This is usually considered an overuse injury but should be monitored regularly and may need physical therapy to help with recovery (depending on the severity).
This is a specific knee injury that is categorized as a traction injury and occurs on a special growth plate called an apophysis, which is at the top of the shin bone (tibia). It can present itself as a bump on the top of the knee.
This injury has become more commonplace in recent years, and is the most serious injury on the list. This is the tearing or partial tearing of the anterior cruciate ligament. It almost always requires surgery and usually causes damage to other parts of the knee when it occurs.
Little Leaguers’ Elbow
For years this has been dubbed the “classic” overuse injury. It includes any pain that is felt in the throwing arm, around the elbow area. Most cases are solved with simple rest, however some do require surgery, which is why visiting an orthopedist is always recommended.
How to Help Your Kids Avoid Injury
Stay Current with Well Visits
Make sure to keep up with your child’s pediatric well visits at least once per year, to make sure they are in tip-top shape. You can also use the opportunity to ask your pediatrician anything specific your kid should watch out for before letting them onto the field.
There’s a reason professional athletes are always running and stretching before they start their game, this is called warming up. It gets the body ready for physical activity so that it doesn’t just start from nothing. If you don’t properly warm your body up, it is much easier to get injured. Try 15 minutes of stretching all body parts and muscle groups, and then a short jog to loosen the body up.
While kids have neverending energy, they still need to keep it in check sometimes. If they don’t get proper rest after sports games or exercises, then they may be at increased risk for some of the overuse injuries listed above.
Follow Proper Technique
It is very important to make sure your kid or teen understands the rules of the sport they are playing, as well as the techniques to play that sport well. If your child is running around the field, not understanding the sport they are playing, they are likely to injure themselves and someone else.
Use the Right Equipment
The better the equipment, the better your child will be protected. While it can get costly, it is always best to purchase equipment like helmets and knee/shoulder pads new, because you never know what damage has already been done to used items. Having the best equipment does not necessarily mean your child will avoid all injuries, but it will certainly help dramatically.
As parents, you know that injuries are inevitable and can happen when you least expect it, even if you’ve taken all the necessary precautions. The best thing to do when an injury occurs is first, stay calm, then decide on if it’s an easy band-aid and trip to the nearest ice cream shop type injury, or something a bit more serious. If you are concerned, feel free to contact the providers at Coastal Kids Pediatrics. Our full team of caring and professional doctors, nurses and support staff are always ready to make sure your child has the best health care possible. So they can looked at, patched up, and back out on the field in no time!