School is out, and summer is in full swing. Kids may find themselves engaging in more sports activities now that they have some extra free time on their hands.
When kids are playing any sport, there’s always the risk of a sports injury. What are the most common types of sports injuries, how can they be prevented, and how are sports injuries treated?
Most common types of sports injuries and how they occur
The American Academy of Pediatrics reports that close to 1 million children under 14 are treated in emergency rooms annually.
Children engaging in competitive team sports, including baseball, basketball, football, and softball, are prone to sports injuries. Those who participate in activities that require repetitive motion, including dance, gymnastics, and cheerleading also are at risk. A large majority of the time, injuries happen not because of the actual sport but because of how the sport is performed or lack of protective gear.
There are two main types of injuries – acute and chronic injuries.
Acute injuries happen suddenly. A sprained ankle is an example of an acute injury. A chronic injury, on the other hand, happens over time as a muscle group or joint is repeatedly used. This type of injury also occurs as a result of poor form or technique when playing sports.
The majority of sports injuries result from collisions, falling, being struck by an object, and overexertion. The most common types of sports injuries include the following:
|Type of sports injury||Symptoms|
|Ankle sprain||Pain, stiffness, and swelling in the ankle|
|Concussion||Headache, dizziness, and sometimes short-term memory loss|
|Dehydration||Feeling thirsty, having dark or strong-smelling urine, feeling tired, dizzy or lightheaded.|
|Nose injuries||Bleeding from either one or both nostrils; a feeling of liquid at the back of the throat; need to swallow frequently.|
|Hamstring strain||Pain, swelling, and bruising|
|Stress fractures||Pain and swelling; tenderness to the touch|
Prevention of sports injuries
There are specific steps kids and parents can take to help prevent sports injuries.
- Proper use of protective equipment: Wearing the right type and right size of safety gear is essential in preventing sports injuries. Children (and adults) should wear helmets when playing baseball, softball, bicycling, and using a skateboard or scooter. Shoes and mouthguards also are important.
- Making sure playing surfaces are well-maintained: It’s a good idea for coaches and parents to check the condition of playing fields to ensure there aren’t many ruts or holes that could pose tripping hazards for kids. The same applies to indoor courts as well to make sure they are not slippery.
- Adult supervision: When children are playing organized sports such as baseball, basketball, or football, the role of the coach and parents is to make sure children are safe and do what they can to prevent sports injuries from occurring. The coach should be trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and dedicated to each child’s well-being. Parents need to consider their children’s skill level, size, and physical and emotional maturity before enrolling them in sports.
- Warming up and staying hydrated – Just like adults, kids should take time to warm up and stretch their muscles before playing any sport to prevent injury. Ensure kids are drinking plenty of fluids to keep themselves hydrated, especially when they are playing hard on a hot summer day.
Treating sports injuries
Despite your best efforts to prevent sports injuries, accidents will inevitably happen. Regardless of the type of injury a child experiences, you should always seek medical care because your child may be hurt more than you realize.
You can take specific steps right away to prevent further injury, especially when dealing with a sprain, strain, or joint injury.
These steps include:
- Applying ice
- Compressing any bleeding with a bandage
- Elevating the injured area above the heart
If there has been a loss of consciousness, an injury to the neck or spine, a broken bone, an abdominal injury, or an impact to the head, face, or eyes, you need to seek medical treatment as soon as possible.
Community First ER is here for you
If your child sustains an injury playing sports, Community First ER is here for you. Upon arrival, we will evaluate your child and determine how best to proceed. With access to CT scans, ultrasounds, and X-ray machines, we can gauge the extent of your child’s injury and next steps. No appointment is necessary, and walk-ins are accepted. You will experience little to no wait times to receive our personalized, compassionate, concierge-level service. Our board-certified physicians and registered nurses treat you like family, making your health a top priority. We are here for you 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Should your child need transportation to a hospital, we will arrange to transfer them via our ambulance and helipad services.
About Community First ER
Emergency health care is a critical resource. Our commitment is to provide a personal, transparent, and concierge-driven emergency health care experience to our community members. Locally owned and operated by health care providers and partners we trust, we strive to support and create meaningful relationships with those around us. We exist to put your health and wellness first. For more information, visit our website at https://communityfirster.com/ and engage with us on social media: