When it comes to training young athletes, it is normal for any coach to want them to excel in the sport as well as enjoy the simple pursuit of play. That’s why it is important to reduce the number of kids who sustain sports-related injuries and get sidelined in the process. Research has shown that nearly 47 million children actively participate in sports annually in the United States. One in three children who are involved in team sports gets injured seriously enough to miss a game or practice. Furthermore, these injuries tend to occur during practice rather than in games. To be a coach who can help young athletes avoid sports injuries, one needs to know the common ones first.
Understanding the common sports injuries in young athletes
Sports injuries can range from bruises and scrapes to serious injuries like spinal cord and brain injuries. However, most injuries fall somewhere between the two extremes. Below is a quick look at the common types of injuries.
- Repetitive motion injuries
Overuse of tendons and muscles can cause tendinitis and stress fractures. Hairline fractures can occur from bone that has been subjected to repeated stress. X rays do not show some of these injuries, but they can cause great amounts of discomfort and pain. Physical therapy in CT is one of the recommended treatments for such injuries.
- Strains and sprains
In our body, muscles are tissues composed of bundles of specialized cells that can produce movement and contract upon nerve stimulation. Tendons are tough, fibrous cords of tissues that connects muscle to bone. Oftentimes, strains are injuries that can happen to muscles or tendons. Sprains, such as ankle sprains, are common athletic injuries that can happen to ligaments. The latter are tough, fibrous tissues that connect more than one bone to a joint.
- Growth plate injuries
One can injure his or her growth plate from sports injuries or accidents. Growth plates are areas of developing tissues that can be found at the end of the long bones in adolescents and growing children. When the ‘growth’ is completed, it is replaced by solid bone. Long bones in a body include:
- Foot bones
- Lower leg bones
- Upper leg bones
- Bones of the forearms
- Hand and finger bones
The services of doctors, who specialize in bone injuries (orthopedic surgeons), are often needed when any of these areas become injured.
How to prevent sports injuries
Young children who play sports may still get injured even though they were careful. Here are some more ways you can contribute to injury prevention and treatment:
- Warm-ups and cool-downs should be part of your athlete’s routine before and after sports participation. Warm-up exercises help make one’s body’s tissues more flexible and warmer. Cooling down helps to loosen muscles that have tightened during training.
- Your athlete should consistently use proper gear for a particular sport. You should enforce rules on proper use of equipment.
- Your team should comprise of certified athletic trainers who can recognize, prevent and provide immediate care for sports injuries.