Getting involved in sports is something that everyone agrees is a great idea for kids – especially for teenagers whose idea of the ideal after school activity is often playing Call Of Duty on the Xbox or spending hours on social media rather than actually getting out and being active on a regular basis.
Any sport comes with its risk of injury though, and that is as true for teens as it is for adults. Some sports injuries are more common in kids than grownups though, and parents, and kids, do need to be aware of just what they might be able to do to prevent some of them.
Types Of Injury
Sports injuries in general come fall into two major categories – acute injuries and overuse injuries.
Acute injuries are the ones that no one really sees coming, the sudden sprain, the crack to body from a badly timed ball, the falls and the spills that at some time or another almost every athlete, amateur or professional will succumb to. As they are, in many cases, just learning their sport of choice, as well as the fact that teens are often over enthusiastic in sports, such injuries in young people can be very common.
Overuse injuries are a different story though and easy for kids, whose bones and bodies are still growing and changing, to fall victim to. Sometimes a child will develop unexplained aches and pains after competing that are simply the result of overdoing things or training too intensely. In other cases, a series of small knocks, bumps and bruises may accumulate until the damage becomes more serious.
Either way a child that complains of pain or discomfort before, during or after playing sports should never be ignored. It may just be simple growing pains or twenty minutes too long in the gym that day but a visit to the doctor is still a good idea if the pain persists for more than a few hours.
Easy Injury Prevention Tips
One of the unfortunate reasons why more sports injuries are being seen in today’s children and teens may be attributable to the fact many kids these days tend to pick one sport and then concentrate on it solely, never varying their routines or how they use their developing bodies.
This, experts say, robs them of the benefits that cross-training offers. To help prevent overuse injury sports medicine experts suggest that young athletes participate in a variety of physical activities to make sure that they are not overusing one set of muscles or physical skills. For example, if a child plays softball they will also probably benefit from taking gymnastics as well, to help build strength and coordination while also varying their physical activities.
In terms of further prevention always making sure that they warm up properly before any kind of physical activity is important for kids to help prevent injury and if the sport they play calls for protective equipment it should be worn and worn properly. Coaches and parents should also be on the lookout for a child who seems to tired, sick or in pain to participate that day and have them skip the session – no pain, no gain should never apply to kids.
The risk of injury should not be a reason to discourage a child’s interest in sports though. In an age when child obesity is becoming a dangerous epidemic all over the Western world, encouraging children and teens to get plenty of physical exercise is a must, and there is also a lot that can be said for the mental benefits of sports as well. So go ahead and cheer your child on and support their goals, just help them try to make sure that they stay as healthy as possible while doing so.