Sports Injuries - How you can help your child have less risk for injury
More children than ever are participating in organized sports. According to Stop Sports Injuries, 30 million children in the US currently participate in sports. Approximately 3.5 million children under the age of 14 will receive medical treatment for sports injuries. 40% of the injuries treated in hospitals are with kids aged 5-14, with high school athletes accounting for nearly 2 million injuries, 500,000 doctor’s visits, and 30,000 hospitalizations every year.
The CDC says that more than half of sports injuries in children are preventable. How can you help your child have less risk for injury, and what can you do if an injury does occur?
Use protective gear. Make sure your kids use all the protective gear that’s appropriate for the position and sport being played. Use helmets. Make sure all protective gear is in good condition.
Don’t forget practices. Make sure gear is used not only in games but at practice. According to Safe Kids USA Campaign website, 62 percent of organized sports-related injuries occur during practice, but one-third of parents do not have their children take the same safety precautions at practice that they would during a game.
Check the temps. Nearly every year there’s a news story about an athlete that’s been injured during practices in the heat of summer. To help prevent heat-related injuries, make sure your child is well hydrated and dressed appropriately for the weather. Give your child time to adjust to hot temps before going all out at practice.
Practice practice practice. Your kids need to learn and practice the proper way to play sports. Being taught to move correctly while playing is key to preventing sports injuries. Don’t rush into a new sport. Take is slowly and learn it the right way.
Work with an athletic trainer. A great way to ensure that your child learns proper athletic techniques is to work with an athletic trainer. Many trainers will come out and work directly with your child’s team. Here at Carolina Orthopedics, we have a group of trainers that are outsourced to area high schools, plus others that are available for individual teams or events. You can learn more about our services here. If you have an event or team that could benefit from an athletic trainer, please contact our Program Coordinator today at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Model the behavior you want to see. Don’t expect your kids to take safety precautions if you don’t. Wear the helmet. Drink the water. Exercise at times where the temperatures are safe. You can’t expect kids to listen to you when you’re contradicting your advice to them.
No matter how many precautions you take, your child may still experience an injury. If that does occur, Carolina Orthopedics hopes you will contact us regarding our sports medicine services. All our sports medicine doctors are board-certified orthopedic surgeons that can diagnose and treat a wide variety of injuries. We also offer physical and occupational therapy for injuries that might have long-lasting impact on the body.
Please note that although this blog post is specifically about injuries in children, adults should practice the same habits and can benefit from many of the same services offered by Carolina Orthopedics. We are here to serve you and your family in your sports needs.
You do NOT need a doctor’s referral to utilize our services. You can make an appointment directly with Carolina Orthopedics in New Bern at 252.634.2676, and in Jacksonville at 910.353.4500. You can also contact Carolina Orthopedics toll free at 844.836.6595.