August 7, 2015
Dr. Robert Rolf talks about common children’s injuries. There are some important signs to look for to see if a child is hurt, and assess how badly the injury is. Prevention of these sports or athletic injuries is also very important.
An important note to parents and coaches is to emphasize that the child should absolutely not fight through the pain. If they have experienced an injury, continuing physical activity can easily make it worse. The last thing we want to do as parents, coaches, and medical professionals, is to delay healing or increase the severity of a child’s injury.
This can sometimes be accomplished through encouraging student athletes to talk to their athletic trainers at school. Often times trainers or coaches have seen common injuries related to their sport of choice. This also alerts the coaches and trainers to avoid certain physical movements that may exacerbate an injury.
Dr. Rolf also recommends encouraging young athletes to get a pre-participation physical exam from a reputable institution. This may require a minimal amount of research for parents, but it can be crucial. The difference between cheering on the sidelines and consoling a child with shattered dreams is reason enough to choose the right physician: not a doctor that will “check the boxes” without a thorough examination.
Warming up before strenuous athletic activity is also a great idea to prevent injuries. This can include stretching or application of warmth to loosen the body up. Coaches, trainers, and parents should also elevate the importance of proper technique and proper training. Falling or landing improperly can often result in a season-ending injury.
Similarly, make sure when they are training that they progress slowly. A good rule of thumb is not to increase the intensity more than ten percent week over week. This allows the body to heal and adjust without over-working or over-using a particular muscle, joint, or limb.
Also, keep your young athletes well hydrated. Drinking water is especially important during the hot, humid summer months in Greater Cincinnati.
Even if your child does not appear to be injured, allow them to rest to prevent injuries from over-use. This is especially true for repetitive motions like pitching in baseball. Many young athletes use the same muscles repeatedly for their sport. Over-use injuries can often be prevented by playing other sports or taking a season off.
If your son or daughter is having persistent pain that is not getting better, make sure to bring them in for an evaluation. We hope these children’s injuries prevention and recovery tips have been useful!