Most children, at one time or another in their childhood, participate in sports. In the United States, these children number in the tens of millions. Sports are a fun and organized way for children to exercise their bodies, hone various mental strategy skill sets, and enjoy themselves all at the same time.
Unfortunately, there are a significant number of injuries that result from these activities. Sports-related incidents are actually the biggest contributors to childhood injuries. It is estimated that more than ten percent of all those children who play sports will sustain some sort of injury during their time as an athlete.
All this being said, not all sports are created equal when it comes to the type and frequency of injuries sustained by players. Certain sports are more intense in the amount of contact they require or in the wear and tear that the body goes through during practice and play.
These injuries can range from mild sprains or cuts/bruises on to traumatic brain injuries. Whatever the injury your child suffers as a result of their involvement in sports, it is important that you visit the office of a sports-medicine specialist, like a spine doctor or an orthopedist, to treat your child’s injuries.
What Kinds of Injuries Do Children Commonly Sustain While Playing Sports?
The most common injuries that result from sporting events are sprains and strains. These can occur in several areas of the body, and generally don’t require too extensive of treatment.
Sprains can happen in any of the various ligaments in the body, whereas strains affect muscles or tendons. These overly stretched soft tissue injuries can occur in many different types of gameplay.
Children also often break bones, sustain concussions, suffer eye injuries, and contract shin splints. Their abilities when it comes to coordination are somewhat lacking. This means that collisions, falls, and various other incidents can tend to happen more frequently than perhaps a similar scenario with adult athletes.
On the other hand, children also aren’t generally capable of playing with the intensity that adults do, because of their smaller size and strength. So when accidents do occur, they have a tendency to be less severe.
It is important that these sports-related injuries are tended to by medical professionals with experience dealing with pediatric patients and sports injuries alike.
Which Sports Cause the Most Injuries?
It doesn’t take a lot of common sense to put sporting injuries into perspective. In most cases, the sports that tend to show more severe injuries are those where contact and intensity are foundational to the play of the game.
Conversely, more individualized sporting endeavors can still result in injuries, but they tend to be more of the chronic pain-related type. For example, children who play football have a higher likelihood of being involved in collisions, falls, and running-related injuries.
Other sports such as swimming are solo in nature, and thus result in far fewer multi-child involved injuries. Swimmers are much more likely to have issues with muscle and joint pain from the continued and sometimes overuse of their bodies.
The rest of the sports that tend to result in injury will typically fall somewhere on a spectrum between these two dissimilar sports. In addition to football, organized or team sports that often result in injuries include baseball/softball, basketball, hockey, and soccer. Interesting enough, multi-sport athletes can have fewer injuries compared to those with a sports-specialization.
Wheeled sporting activities can also cause some pretty gruesome injuries because of falls and crashes. Bicycling, skateboarding, and rollerblading can be very dangerous activities, indeed.
Winter sports are also responsible for a great many acute injuries, and also can lead to a great deal of chronic joint pain. Skiing and snowboarding are generally slightly safer, just because of the softer surface to land on in a fall, but they do result in a great many crashes and detoured falls.
In What Setting Do These Injuries Occur?
As compared to any other time in a season, a majority of injuries will actually happen at practice. There are also convincing facts that indicate that individual sports might be responsible for more intense and severe injuries. But contact sports will likely cause more injuries as a whole.
While not a geographical location or setting, it is important to note that children who are no longer toddlers but not quite teens are the most vulnerable group of athletes. If your child is hurting as a result of the sport they are involved in, don’t wait to contact the orthopedic team at AICA Orthopedics.