Youth Sports Injuries

Roughly 1 in 3 childhood injuries happen while playing sports. Some of the most common sports injuries include sprains and fractures however, serious and life-threatening injuries can occur while playing sports. Although every sport is accompanied by a risk of an injury, sports injuries are especially common when playing ‘contact sports’ such as; football, ice hockey, softball, baseball, rugby, etc. Early detection and treatment are crucial to assure that your child has a quick and safe return to their sport. If diagnosis and treatment are delayed, your child runs the risk of experiencing a more serious injury that could have long-term effects. If your child has experienced a sports injury, it is important to be able to recognize when they need to see their pediatrician. Young athletes should visit the doctor for:

  • Symptoms that will not go away after resting and being treated at home.
  • Conditions that have not been diagnosed or treated and are affecting their performance.  
  • Conditions that could put other teammates or competitors at risk.

Several types of youth sports injuries will likely result in an athlete needing to visit their pediatrician. These injuries include:

  • Acute injuries: These injuries include sprains, fractures, and dislocations. The most common symptoms of acute injuries include bruising, tingling, swelling, spasms, and shooting pains. If your child is unable to move their joints, is experiencing a lot of pain, and/or is unable to walk please contact their pediatrician immediately.
  • Overuse injuries: Some overuse injuries include; shin splints, tendonitis, and certain fractures. Overuse injuries are typically accompanied by symptoms of tightness, popping joints, and weakness. Overuse injuries can slowly build up and result in symptoms that restrict physical activity altogether. It might be time for your child to see their pediatrician after an overuse injury if their pain gets worse over time, the pain gets in the way of daily activity, or if your child is experiencing extensive weakness.
  • Concussions: If your child experiences a hit to the head and becomes disoriented, gets a headache, blurry vision, memory loss, dizziness, fatigue, or begins to vomit, please seek immediate medical help. Remember, a concussion can still occur without losing consciousness. Assure your child can return to their sport by checking with their pediatrician beforehand.
  • Medical illnesses/conditions: If your child has a medical illness such as heart disease, asthma, epilepsy, etc. closely monitor their sports activity and injuries. Heart palpitations, feeling lightheaded, muscle cramping, vomiting, and wheezing are all symptoms that should be taken seriously when you have a young athlete with a medical illness and/or medical condition. Please contact your child’s pediatrician if your child is experiencing any of these symptoms.

While youth sports injuries can never be entirely prevented, there are ways to help prevent your little one from experiencing a sports injury. Some of these preventative measures include;

  • Proper equipment: Using proper equipment is essential when taking injury prevention seriously. For example, your child should have a properly fitted helmet when playing baseball and football because if their gear does not fit correctly, they could run the risk of severe injury on the field.
  • Adult supervision: Your child’s coach should always be aware of all their players while on the field. Coaches that do not recognize something may be wrong can ultimately encourage children to ‘play through it’ which can do more bad than good.
  • Preparation: Proper preparation is crucial for sports injury prevention. Assure that your child becomes familiar with the sport before sending them out to the field. Just as adults, children should always have training lessons and be prepared with warm-ups or practices before hitting the field.

At the offices of SuraMed Medical Center PA, we can treat your child’s sports injury! If your child has been injured after playing a sport and you have concerns regarding their health, please contact us today.