Young and Recovering: How to Handle Your Child’s Sports Injury

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that more than 2.5 million children under the age of 19 visit emergency rooms every year due to injuries suffered while playing sports. The majority of injuries occur because of falls, collisions or overexertion. Here are some of the most common injuries and how to address them.


The condition occurs from a blow to the head, which affects brain function temporarily or permanently. Symptoms vary with the severity of the injury and may include:


* Confusion

* Dizziness

* Headache

* Difficulty with balance

* Memory problems

* Nausea/vomiting

* Numbness

* Slurred speech


When suffering a head injury, physicians generally advise that a child should receive immediate medical attention to assess the possibility of internal bleeding, tissue trauma or fractures.


Anterior Cruciate Ligament Tears

This injury involves the ligament that attaches the thigh to the shin on the inside of the knee cap. Tears to this ligament are commonly combined with injuries or tears to the medial collateral ligament and the meniscus. Depending on the individual, a child may experience mild discomfort to severe pain. If a child reports feeling a pop or has swelling and immobility in 24 hours, parents should seek medical attention. Treatments range from rest and rehabilitation to bracing or corrective surgery.



Growth Plate Injuries

In a growing child, long bones remain weaker than connective tissue. Sports injuries that would normally only cause joint sprains in adults may cause growth plate fractures in children. These injuries most commonly occur in the outer bone where the forearm meets the wrist, in the lower leg bones, in the ankle or at the hip. Children may suffer severe pain, chronic pain, decreased mobility or a visible deformity. The fractures are classified in one of five categories through imaging studies. Treatment may include immobility, casting or corrective surgery. Whether your child gets a bone fracture in Clovis or Cleveland, rush them to a medical professional immediately to know how to proceed.


Heat Exhaustion

The condition occurs when a child loses excessive amounts of fluid and electrolytes from sweating. Symptoms may include:


* Profuse sweating

* Cold, pale, clammy skin

* Muscle cramping

* Fatigue, dizziness, fainting

* Headache, nausea, vomiting

* Rapid, shallow breathing

* Rapid but weak pulse


Emergency treatment begins with taking the child’s temperature. If elevated to higher than 102 degrees, seek immediate medical attention. Continue taking the temperature every five minutes. Move the child to a shady location or indoors. Remove excess clothing and cool the skin with cool water. Do not give oral fluids unless the child is conscious.


While participating in sports is healthy for social, psychological and physical well-being, accidents may occur from time to time. However, these are measures that parents, coaches and instructors may take to reduce the impact of injury.



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