It has become increasingly important that children who regularly play sport, are in good care. Injuries to youth and adolescents can seem more harmful than we think, due to their growing bodies.
Research has proven that an astonishing 40% of all injuries to youth and adolescents are sport-related, most of these injuries can go unnoticed but need more attention than what is given. More than 3.5 million children per year receive treatment for an injury by their involvement in sport, a growing number of both male and female sport participation rates will only continue to climb.
If a child’s injury is not attended to quickly enough or taken seriously, the following implications can occur:
- It can lead to a delay in the injury healing process: delaying their return to the field
- If the injured site isn’t properly managed it can cause future problems in recovery
- An injury that may seem simple or easy to treat to the eye can turn into something harder to treat if left without immediate treatment
- As youth and adolescents are still growing, it can affect long-term musculoskeletal health
These kinds of sporting injuries can fall under two different categories:
- Micro: as a result of repetitive use or trauma
- Macro: as a result of a single, traumatic event such as a fracture
Overuse injuries play a regular occurrence in children that play multiple sports, as constant overuse of sore and tired muscles can lead to a decrease in function, due to not giving their young bodies enough time to rest and repair.
Take a look at our top tips to ensure that you keep your child happy and enjoying sport for many years to come and to help reduce overuse injuries in young, enthusiastic children:
- Shine emphasis on the importance of stretching
- Encourage involvement in gentle exercise as well as ‘high-intensity’ – prepare their young bodies before a tough season kicks off
- Encourage your child to feel confident to tell their coach or trainer when a rest is required
It’s best to get any pain or a suspected injury in a child checked out by your local physiotherapist. They will be able to determine exactly what may be going on just by listening to a child’s sporting history and an accurate description of the symptoms and circumstances of the injury.