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Sports Medicine & Children

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Sports Medicine and Children

 

Sports activities for children are encouraged for a number of reasons other than discovering another superstar. Children learn teamwork and discipline required by team sports that benefit them the rest of their lives. Sports can also improve coordination balance and strength. Above all, sports are fun.

 

Children’s Leading Sports Medicine Injuries

 

Sports medicine injuries account for more than 20,000 deaths and 3.5 million sports medicine-related injuries of children ages 15 and under are tracked by sports medicine professionals. The sports involved include sports that are popularized by both professional and Olympic teams.

  • Football
  • Basketball
  • Baseball
  • Soccer
  • Hockey
  • Gymnastics
  • Volleyball

Children are more susceptible to sports medicine injury than adults because they are still growing and because they lack the muscle strength that protect adults from injury. Common sports medicine injuries in children include:

  • Concussion — contusions (bruises) on the brain surface caused by impact, causing disorientation or loss of consciousness;
  • Growth plate injuries — cartilage damage around growth plates when growth plates are weaker than surrounding muscles;
  • Little League Elbow--lateral epicondylitis sports medicine symptoms around the elbow joint causing pain down the arm and affecting the ability to grip objects (similar to tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow);
  • Shin splints — sports medicine pain along the tibia (shin bone) when tiny fibers of the membrane attaching muscles to bone are irritated or inflamed;
  • Plantar Fasciitis — inflammation of the tendon running from the sole of the foot to the heel;
  • Hernias—abnormalities of the abdominal wall causing intestinal tissue to protrude into the groin area resulting in a painful bulge;
  • Stress Fractures — tiny cracks in bones caused by overuse;
  • Football Stingers — sports medicine injury to the nerves running from the neck to the shoulder caused by collisions that overstretch and pinch nerves producing shooting pain down the arm and numbness.

 

What causes sports medicine injuries?

 

  • Ill-fitting sports medicine equipment, too big for the child.
  • Lack of muscle strength around a joint.
  • Not stretching muscles properly.
  • Not warming-up muscles properly.
  • Not following an age-appropriate regular sports medicine conditioning program.
  • Not wearing sports medicine safety equipment.
  • Ignorance of proper sports medicine preventive techniques and sports medicine support equipment.
  • Players, coaches and parents with a “winning is everything” attitude.

 

First Aid Treatment Recommended by Sports Medicine Professionals

 

  • Do not move the injured child.
  • Do not remove protective sports medicine gear, including helmets.
  • Determine the extent of the sports medicine injury.
  • Are they breathing?
  • Are they conscious?
  • Ask their name, where they are?
  • Is vision blurred?
  • Is speech slurred?
  • Is there a loss of balance?
  • Are pupils the same size?
  • Do eyes move together?
  • Can they close the mouth properly?
  • Is breathing difficult?
  • Is an arm or leg fractured?
  • Protect yourself with sports medicine latex glove products, or use plastic bags, to avoid contact with body fluids.
  • Apply pressure to bleeding wounds with clean sports medicine compress products.
  • Do not use pressure around eye injuries. All eye injuries should be evaluated by an eye specialist.

 

Non-Critical Injury Treatment Recommended by Sports Medicine Professionals

 

Insist that a complete sports medicine first aid kit be available at all sports events for children.

  • RICE—Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation.
  • Sports medicine splinting products to immobilize the injured body part.
  • Apply sports medicine heating products during the final recovery phase only as a relaxation aid.

 

Injury Prevention Recommended by Sports Medicine Specialists

 

  • Warm up slowly prior to any sports activity.
  • Stretch the muscles before and after exercise, using proper sports medicine form and never bounce. (Bouncing causes tiny tears in muscle fibers.)
  • Wear appropriate sports medicine safety equipment for the sport, making certain equipment fits properly and is snug.
  • Wear neoprene compression sleeve sports medicine products on joints prone to injury to protect and add support.
  • Use sports medicine safety equipment recommended by sports medicine professionals, including:
  • Protective sports medicine eyewear such as safety glasses or goggles;
  • Sports medicine mouth guards—important for children with braces, retainers and other
  • orthodontic appliances;
  • Sports medicine helmets;
  • Sports medicine knee and elbow guards;
  • Sports medicine face guards for sports such as football, hockey and handball.