Did you know April is Youth Sports Safety Month? The national campaign focuses public attention on the prevalent problem of high injury rates in youth sports and promotes safety in sports participation.
While sports injuries are common, making sure your child is prepared can help prevent some of the most common ones. Football is the one CHOC Children’s sees the most injuries from, according to John Schlechter, D.O., a pediatric orthopaedic surgeon at CHOC. The most common injuries we see are strains, sprains, bumps and simple bone fractures, he says.
He and the team of doctors at the CHOC Children’s Orthopaedic Institute also treat more serious injuries, such as shoulder dislocation, anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears and concussions.
Many of these injuries are from overuse and overtraining, so it’s important for parents to be aware of the signs and symptoms of overtraining, Dr. Schlechter explains. These symptoms include:
- Poor performance
- Not meeting training goals
- Not wanting to practice
- Getting tired easily
- Being irritable or not wanting to cooperate
Playing a sport more than 20 hours a week can increase the risk for injury. Dr. Schlechter also stresses the importance of wearing protective gear and drinking plenty of fluids when playing sports. But above all, parents should listen to their children. If your child feels too tired, hurt or ill to play, let him or her sit on the sidelines, Dr. Schlechter says.
- Rules for getting back to the classroom after your child suffers a concussion.
- Nursemaid’s elbow is one of the most common injuries in small children, and it can happen during the most innocent activities, like playing tug-of-war.
- Physical activity, calcium and vitamin D are essential for building strong bones. Developing good bone health during childhood helps prevent fractures and osteoporosis later in life.