Injuries in children during sports activities are quite common. Sport has a beneficial effect on physical fitness, but also on overall health, enhances confidence, improves communication with one another. Unfortunately, unpleasant things also happen, such as injuries. According to some research, 25-30 percent of sports injuries occur in organized sports activities, and about 40 percent in recreational activities. The rest happens while children are playing games. Most injuries occur while playing football and basketball, followed by athletics, and the fewest in water polo.
How to prevent sports injuries?
As in many other activities, the most important in sports is injury prevention. This means that all children who take part in an organized sport, regardless of their age and type of sport, should undergo a thorough medical examination and tests that will show their health, as well as physical and psychological potential.
Today, children aged seven to eight begin to train seriously, which means that they are often exposed to maximum effort, and this increases the risk of injury. If the examinations are not organized at a sports club, parents should take their children to a specialist institution dealing with this before training. If this is not done, and while playing sports, the child has some difficulties – fainting, headaches, or heart problems, or breathing – it is imperative that he or she does not continue physical activities without the permission of a physician. Ignoring the problems that occur can lead to severe disability and even death.
What are the most common toddler injuries?
Running and jumping generally result in ankle or knee sprain. This injury results in excessive stretching of the soft tissues, but without changing the interposition of the bones that make up the joint. The result is pain and swelling of the injured joint.
Much more serious, but also much less common, is a wrist fracture. This happens while falling, when the child sits on his leg with his own weight, thus tearing the ankle. The knee can also be injured in this way, and this is accompanied by intense pain and inability to perform the movement. You should not try to put the wrist back in place, as it will be very painful, with the risk of additional injury.
Injuries to the hand wrist occur on a basketball, volleyball, or handball game when the ball hits the fingers. After severe pain, swelling that may restrict movement may occur. If your finger looks weird, it’s probably some of the small bones that make the joint pop out and get broken.
What does first aid for sports injuries look like?
When an injury occurs, the first thing to do is to stop all activity and ensure the absolute rest of the joint that is injured. Unfortunately, this is often not respected, especially when it happens in an “important game”, or the child is afraid of losing his “place on the team”, which is why he conceals an injury. This is when a re-injury occurs, which can lead to an inability to completely cure and lasting consequences.
In addition to resting, the other thing to do immediately is to cool the injured joint. It could be ice, cold water, a spray intended for it, or something else. The cold will reduce the swelling of the surrounding tissue and relieve pain. Cold liners should be applied every 3 to 4 hours for the first 48 hours after the injury.
The third necessary thing to do after an injury is the elevation of the injured joint, which means that it should be raised, preferably above the heart level.
After discontinuation of activity and cooling, it is best to have the injured wrist examined by a sports injury doctor, either on-site or at the nearest health facility. Examination and, if necessary, an X-ray will exclude the possibility of a fracture, and depending on the severity of the injury – the doctor will immobilize the joint with a bandage or a longette.
What does recovery look like?
By immobilising the injured joint, you will let your body recover faster. The doctor’s recommendation should certainly be followed to the end, even though the pain has stopped in the meantime and the swelling has receded. The bandage still needs to be held firmly by the wrist. If the joint is weighed down by the weight of the body before the injured ligaments are recovered, the joint will remain “loose” and re-injury is possible.
Exercises should be started as soon as possible, with a healthy leg or arm immediately, and with the injured – carefully, under the supervision of professionals. This early start with exercise aims to prevent stiffness, atrophy, and loss of function of the injured joint. What exercises, how, and how many times they should be done – will be recommended by a doctor or physical therapist, depending on the nature of the injury and the current condition.
After removal of immobilization, the recommended physical therapy should be resumed in order to regain full range of motion and muscle strength. Insufficient or inadequate rehabilitation can cause recurrent injuries that are much harder to cure.
All these injuries can also occur in physical education classes, during recreational sports, or in spontaneous play, even while walking. Regardless of the circumstances and the scene, they are all treated in the same way and require complete rehabilitation, as the consequences of untreated injuries can later affect working ability in adulthood.
In conclusion, sports injuries are quite common and usually, the knees, ankles, or wrists are the ones that end up with a sprain or a fracture. However, proper management of such an injury is very important in order to fully regain back the joint movement and muscle strength. Any injury that is not treated correctly can lead to long-term consequences.