The fall sports season is kicking into full gear. As young athletes head back out on the field or court, the possibility of injury echoes in the back of every parent’s mind. And for good reason.
Sports-related injuries account for nearly one-third of all childhood injuries. Of the 30 million children and teens participating in organized sports this year, more than 3.5 million of them will sustain an injury (Stanford Children’s Health). The most common of those tend to be sprains, strains, and fractures, which are decidedly treatable and even avoidable in some cases.
Prevention is Protection
That word “avoidable” is critical. Prevention is protection when it comes to kids’ injuries. That starts with understanding when most incidents occur and how to avoid them.
Practice and training are the times people let their guard down, and it shows. Nearly 62% of organized sports-related injuries occur during practice (Stanford Children’s Health). Somewhat surprisingly, many parents actually report not ensuring their kids take the same safety precautions during practices as they do games.
In short, the key to avoiding some injuries is simply treating practice as seriously as a game.
Another key to preventing an accident is proper conditioning and training. The right conditioning starts at home by getting enough sleep and eating a healthy diet. On the field or court, prevention means warming up and using proper technique. It’s also not going from zero to 60 coming out of the off-season. It takes time to get back in shape, regain muscle memory, and get in the right mindset. As invincible as they feel, kids sometimes don’t recognize the importance of building up their fitness levels, which gets them into trouble.
5 Common Sports Injuries
There are two types of injuries young athletes usually get — acute or overuse. Acute injuries happen suddenly, and overuse injuries live up to their name by developing slowly over time. Examples of acute injuries include sprains, strains, fractures, and concussions. Possible injuries that fall into the overuse category are related to muscles, ligaments, and tendons. We often see those in the elbows of pitchers, swimmers’ shoulders, and bone stress injuries.
Some of the most common injuries we’ll see this fall sports season are:
- Shin Splints
Getting immediate medical attention is crucial at the first sign of pain. Many athletes will keep playing to “push through the pain,” but that can effectively make the injury far worse than it initially was. At Beacon, we know how hard it is to miss out on precious practice and game time. That’s why it’s our goal to get our athletes back to their sport as quickly as safely possible.
Our certified athletic trainers know that better than anyone. You can learn more about them here. And if something happens where you need our expertise, our physicians are at the ready to treat you or your young athlete. Schedule an appointment or visit one of our urgent care locations.