Avoiding Children’s Sports Injuries

Avoiding Sports Injuries For Children

Here’s how to avoid your children becoming injured.

  • Firstly, there is no such thing as growing pains. If there is a pain, check it out. Be on the alert for early warning signs. Problems overlooked can become a worse problem in the future.
  • Athletes today are training harder and harder trying to break records, and this alone can lead to overuse injury which is the main cause of injuries. To prevent overuse injury to children’s bodies that have not yet fully matured, training must be monitored carefully. This is why there are rules governing the age at which children are allowed to run in races of certain distances.
  • A young body can’t cope as well with dehydration, cold or heat.
  • Events should be properly organized. Team games should have players of the same levels of experience and be under constant supervision. Also paramedics/first aides and transport should be at the ready for the injured.
  • Even if you long for your child to excel at sport, they themselves must be willing to play. Half hearted play can be responsible for injury.
  • Children must be fit and well for example, running with the flu is dangerous, as there are already changes in the body when performing any physical activity, one being that the heart has to increase its output and the body generally is not as strong.
  • Proper equipment should always be used, too often giant racquets and incorrect handle sizes and grips are used, which we may have had to put up with years ago, but these days sporting equipment is cheaper and more plentiful to buy and correct equipment can avoid the risk of injury.
  • Footwear is more important in children than adults whose feet have finished growing. Correct size and the appropriate shoe for the sport is essential.

Injuries that can happen to children in sport

The sudden stops and twists, jumps and turns that occur in sports like badminton, squash and football, to name but a few, can lead to the risk of sprains (torn or partially torn ligaments) or strains (torn or partially torn tendons), fractures, dislocations, hamstring problems, and head injury. The skull bones are not firmly united until 18 years of age so care should be taken in collision sports such as rugby and also heading the ball in football.

Budding gymnasts before they start, should have a check for weak shoulders, tight hamstrings, back pain when trying to touch their toes or perform leg raises and weak abdominal muscles. Injuries can happen to elbow, wrist, hand , knee, ankle and foot. Repetitive landings may dislocate ankle tendons or cause Achilles tendinitis. However this is not to make children’s bodies sound as though they are made of glass! Prevention is just a lot easier than coping with injuries!

Hands – Surprisingly, the impact on the forearm and hands is too severe for young joints to sustain in sports like volleyball, and fingers are at risk in basketball. Sprains, dislocations, fractures and the metacarpal shaft in the palm can be at risk. Gloves can be worn to absorb impact and correct technique should be learnt before playing to help avoid injury.

Some Sports Children Should Be Careful Participating In

Trampolining – Kids playing on the trampoline

There have been many serious injuries due to trampoline including back and brain, not to mention injuries from teeth to toes. It is not a part of physical education classes today and only under supervision with qualified trainers should this be performed.

Scuba diving for children

Scuba diving is something you must be medically fit for. No asthma, bronchitis or ear nose and throat problems. Never dive with a cold. Mucus is forced into the lungs by pressure and localized blockages can be formed in the lungs.

Weight training for children

Weight training for children needs supervision and a solid program is needed to follow religiously. Targets should not be too difficult, and the key to success is to build up gradually. Over enthusiasm has to be monitored as a child or young teenager is still developing and growing, the weights should be kept to a minimum even if the child is able to lift a substantial amount of weight – leave the heavy weights for the years ahead!