Soon after the first school bell rings, you will hear the familiar sound of coaches’ whistles coming from the courts and fields of our schools. 30 million children and teens participate in organized sports. While that number is impressive, sadly 3.5 million sports injuries sideline these participants each year. Before your child takes the field or hits the court, it’s critical to understand the most common injuries that occur, preventative measures that your child can take to avoid injury, and what to do if your child is injured in an accident at school or during a sporting event.
Most Common Sports Injuries
The most common types of sports injuries range from seemingly minor to life threatening, and are categorized as overuse injuries or acute injuries.
Overuse injuries stem from repeated movement over an extended period of time resulting in the muscle, tendon, or other body part becoming injured. Common types of overuse sports injuries include shin splints, swimmer’s shoulder, tennis elbow, or even stress fractures.
Acute injuries stem from a sudden impact or trauma and can sometimes cause a catastrophic effect. Acute sports injuries include muscle strain, dislocations, fractures or broken bones.
Considered a “mild traumatic brain injury” concussions occur when an impact causes the subject’s brain to move inside the skull. The focus of multiple studies in recent years, concussions in adolescents and younger athletes have come under greater scrutiny because of the child’s age and brain development.
Extra attention should be paid to heat and hydration for children. Perspiration is nature’s way of cooling the body down. Since children sweat less than adults they may be at greater risk for heat exhaustion.
Accident and Injury Prevention
Make sure your children are safe from practice to the final whistle by talking to your child about sports safety, and taking additional precautions where possible this school year. Here are a few tips to ensure safer play:
Teach Proper Techniques
Your child’s coach should foster a safe environment by restricting activities that might cause injury, as well as teaching the proper procedures to help avoid injuring others.
Prevent muscle pulls and strains by carefully stretching prior to any exercise.
Make sure your child drinks plenty of water prior to, during and after exercise, taking shade whenever possible.
We all want our children to be successful, but one of the keys to their success is getting adequate rest between workouts.
Ensure that your kids are safe and secure by checking equipment. Proper footwear, secure helmets and appropriate padding are all critical to avoiding injury.
Seek Medical Attention
If your child is injured in a sports accident it’s critical to seek appropriate medical care afterward to avoid further injury. For instance, a child who has suffered a concussion must consult with a medical doctor to be cleared before returning to play.
What to do if your child is injured in an accident
Sports injuries must be immediately addressed to help ensure that you and your family are protected. Take steps to understand if outside factors were the cause behind your child’s accident:
- For instance, did coaches and trainers follow proper protocols following your child’s accident?
- Did a product fail to perform as expected resulting in greater injury for your child?
- Was the environment your child was competing in up to proper codes and standards, or did poor conditions contribute to your child’s injury?
If someone else was potentially negligent in your child’s injury, contact an experienced personal injury attorney who can help examine your situation, and guide you on the proper procedures to follow to ensure coverage for your child.