Don't Ignore Sports-Related Injuries in Young Athletes

Sports-Related Injury Prevention Exercises Could Lessen the High Injury Rates Among Young Athletes

REDLANDS, Calif. – More than a million times a year or every 25 seconds, a child suffers a sports-related injury severe enough to send him or her to the emergency room, according to Safe Kids Worldwide.

With area school sports like football practice kicking off, it’s important learn to recognize the difference between an injury and being hurt, say sports medicine specialists.

Serious injuries such as concussions, muscle tears, heat-strokes and broken bones are quite common in high school sports, but can be prevented with the right precautions and preventative habits, say doctors at Redlands Community Hospital.

Young athletes 12 to 15 years of age, make up more than half of all concussion-related emergency room visits. Knee injuries such as tears in the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) are eight times more common among young female athletes than male athletes.

Consistently rehydrating before and throughout practices and games is vital, and teaching young athletes injury prevention skills such as warm-up exercises and stretches to prevent common injuries is also vital.

“Understanding specifically where stress is placed on muscles during a particular sport, such as in football, soccer, basketball, or baseball, can ensure adequate stretching and warm-up exercises are performed,” explains Dr. Cameo Carter, a pediatrician at Redlands Community Hospital. “Ensuring school and after-school coaches are educated in injury prevention and supporting their decision when taking an athlete out of a game is also important.”

Educating yourself and your child on signs of head trauma and encouraging them to speak up when injured are valuable tools in their recovery. Making sure that athletes wear proper equipment, such as helmets, shoulder pads and shin guards, can help reduce the number of injuries sustained. New and trending sports-injury prevention products such as the SkullTec, a beanie or head cap that can reduce impact of collisions by 25 percent, may also be beneficial, says Dr. Heather Barr, a pediatrician for the Beaver Medical Group.

“If you think your child is injured, take immediate action,” adds Dr. Barr. “Speak with the team trainer or coach and then get immediate medical care, particularly if it’s a head injury.

“For more information on Redlands Community Hospital, visit www.redlandshospital.org.

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Redlands Community Hospital is an independent, not for profit, stand-alone hospital.

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