Preventing Back To School Sports Injuries
With the end of summer fast approaching, parents are busy getting their children ready to go back to school. If your child participates in football or other sporting events, it is likely they have already begun practice. While participating in youth sports offers benefits in terms of physical fitness and camaraderie, it can also expose your child to potentially serious personal injuries. The following provides information on dangers you need to be aware of, as well as tips on how to prevent these injuries from occurring.
Youth Sports Injuries
According to the Youth Sports Safety Alliance (YSSA), as many as 8,000 children visit hospital emergency rooms each day as the result of sports injuries. These can occur during informal play or as part of recreational programs, and are alarmingly common in school athletic programs. Roughly 63 percent of these injuries occur during practice season, and football programs are among the most dangerous programs.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) reports that when it comes to injuries, those involving the musculoskeletal system are among the most common. These include:
- Sprains and strains: Sprains affect the ligaments that connect the bones, and are the most common sports related injury. Strains affect muscles and tendons, which are the connective tissues which join bones and bones. These injuries can take a long time to heal and could result in permanent areas of weakness if not cared for properly.
- Growth plate injuries: Growth plates are developing tissues at the ends of long bones, such as in fingers, arms, and legs, in children and adolescents. These eventually develop into solid bones. Injuries to these areas can cause serious impairments, and parents should seek treatment for their child from an orthopedic surgeon.
- Repetitive injuries: These include stress fractures and tendinitis, which is caused by overuse of muscles and tendons. They do not always show up on x-rays but may cause pain and inflammation, and may require physical therapy in order to heal.
In addition to the above, head injuries are also common among school age athletes. Even a seemingly mild bump or blow to the head can result in a concussion, and repeated blows over the course of time could result in traumatic brain injury (TBI).
Protecting Young Athletes Against Injuries
The NIH advises that schools and recreational programs have a duty to help protect young athletes. This includes doing the following:
- Making sure coaches and training staff are properly certified;
- Providing the appropriate safety equipment, including helmets and safety pads;
- Providing frequent breaks and access to water, particularly during hot weather;
- Making sure players are pulled and receive the appropriate treatment when injured;
- Not allowing students to return to play until cleared by their doctor.
Parents can do their part by making sure their school or league adheres to these practices and by holding them accountable when injuries occur as the result of negligence. If your child is injured while playing sports, contact the Law Firm of William E. Raikes, III. We can arrange a free consultation with our Fort Pierce personal injury attorney, to discuss the potential long term impacts your child may suffer, and the types of compensation which may be available.