Parenting isn’t an easy task, especially when it comes to boys. Parenting boys brings about its own set of problems. This is particularly true if your son plays sports. Sports can bring about many good experiences and habits that we hope our sons will hold on to for life. Occasionally, a sports injury happens that results in a need for an orthopedic specialist.
Every year, millions of children participate in sports. Some play sports through recreational leagues at church or through clubs. Others play sports through their school system. Playing sports is a great way for your child to learn about teamwork, however, it also carries the risk of injury. Statistics show that high school athletes have the same risk of injury as professional athletes. The most concerning issue related to this statistic is that teenagers are still growing.
How Sports Injuries Are Classified
Sports injuries in children are generally classified into two major categories. The first category is an acute injury. An acute injury is one that is sudden. An example of an acute injury is an ankle fracture. The second category is referred to as overuse injury. This type of injury occurs over time as opposed to the sudden acute injury. An example of an overuse injury is an injury to the shoulder from lots of swimming practice or baseball pitching.
There are other injury categories such as catastrophic, concussions, and growth plate injuries. A catastrophic injury is often found in contact sports. This is a severe injury to the head and neck. A concussion can happen in any sport, it is an injury to the brain from hitting the head. A growth plate injury can damage the height and shape of the adult bone as it hardens.
Many sports injuries do not require heavy medical intervention. Some injuries can be severe or carry the possibility of future limitations. Common fractures from children’s sports include elbow fractures, ankle fractures, and stress factors. Other common injuries include ligament tears, muscle sprains, concussions, knee pain, and throwing injuries.
Prompt medical attention by an orthopedic specialist can maximize healing, get the child back on the field as soon as possible, and relieve the worries of parents. It is particularly important to consult an orthopedic specialist if there is a growth plate injury. A qualified orthopedic specialist can offer advice to both parents and child to minimize sports injuries.
What Should Parents Do?
The best parenting advice for this situation is to choose an orthopedic specialist who specializes in working with children. These particular orthopedic doctors are specially trained to treat children’s sports injuries. They often work closely with physical therapists that are also trained to work with children.
Work with the coach, the orthopedic specialist, and your child to minimize any future injury. The consequences of continued injury can have a life-long impact on your child. Make sure that your child wears the appropriate protective gear for their chosen sport. Teach your child warm up exercises to help prevent injuries. Your child should know that they shouldn’t always play through pain. If a child experiences pain during a game or practice that is unusual and not related to regular muscle fatigue, they should tell their parents and their coach. Sports injuries can be minimized if we all work together to prevent them.
Robin is a blogger for Matthew Boes M.D. Orthopaedic Surgery in Raleigh, North Carolina. She wants to know how to prevent injuries in young children who play sports.