There are a number of benefits to any non-academic activity that children are involved in that may help them develop socially and also has the potential to teach important life values. This includes participate in youth sports. The downside to this is that the child may encounter sports-related injuries, and according to professionals specializing in physical therapy in Connecticut, they can have either long-term or short-term effects on a growing child.
Most common youth sports injuries seen by physical therapists
- Sprains and strains: These affect ligaments and muscles. When tissues are forced to withstand too great amount of pressure, they overstretch and sometimes cause unwanted pain.
- Growth plate injuries: The growth plates in bones do not typically close until the mid-late teen years which leaves these areas more susceptible to injury.
- Repetitive motion pains: Overuse injuries are commonly seen in children who perform the same movement or activity too often. These injuries may not show on the x-ray but most of them can cause intense pain.
How to ensure injury prevention
- Consider the institute your child is enrolled in
Whenever your child shows interest in a sport, it is only common to enroll him in an institute properly equipped in enhancing his skill. While at it, make sure that the institute/school/community club is committed to good injury prevention procedures. In addition, coaches handling children should have mastered CPR training and other basic emergency procedures. Proper injury treatment equipment should also be readily available.
- Adult presence is necessary in such programs
An adult should be present in the daily running of the sports programs. Adults will understand the necessary measures to take, are better experienced and have less tendencies to panic while handling an emergency situation.
- Field practice procedures should be in place
You should know that warm-ups and cool-downs should be part of an athlete’s daily routines. As you know, warm-ups make the tissues flexible and warmer. Some muscles that have compressed and tightened during the sessions need cool-downs, so that young athletes will not be susceptible to further injuries.
- Adequate sporting gear and equipment
It is important to provide a young athlete with the correct sporting gear. Sometimes, the possibility of an injury only lies on the availability or unavailability of the correct gear in place. Sports such as football, hockey, ice hockey and boxing squarely rely on effective gear to prevent injuries. It is important to note that the quality of the gear should also be questioned. Here, the adage that ‘cheap is expensive’ plays a very important role. The kind of sport your child is involved in also has its own common injury points. The safety gear should be effective enough to prevent such injuries from taking place.
- Proper hydration
There are cases of young sportsmen and sportswomen who have found themselves in hospital simply because they were not well hydrated on the field. Ensure your child has sufficient water around while on the field or the court. The possibility of sunburns should also be an extra consideration, especially for swimming athletes.