Showing posts with label concussion symptoms. Show all posts
Showing posts with label concussion symptoms. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Sports Injuries In Kids Are On The Rise

Each year millions of children and adolescents are treated in emergency rooms across the country for sports-related injuries.  These astounding numbers don’t account for the injuries that go unreported either. Undoubtedly, team sports teach today’s youth important lessons about commitment, team spirit and perseverance.  But how can you keep kids safe while they participate in organized sports?

What are typical sports-related injuries?


According to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIH):

  • Sprains and strains
  • Concussions—accounting for 12% of ER visits
  • Bone injuries, specifically the growth plate, the developing tissue at the end of long bones, which is present in hands and fingers, forearms, upper legs, lower legs and foot bones
  • Repetitive motion, such as stress fractures and tendinitis
  • Heat-related illnesses (see post)

Soccer injury on the field

Why are concussions so concerning?


Research shows younger athletes take a longer time to heal from these types of injuries. In addition, a concussion is considered a traumatic brain injury to young brains, which are still growing.  Finally, a concussion at an early age leaves the athlete at risk for Second Impact Syndrome, which can take place when a second head injury occurs prior to a full recovery from the first. Sadly, SIS is often fatal.

What are the symptoms of a concussion?


  • Headache/pressure in head
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Slurred speech
  • Fatigue
  • Ringing in ears
  • Amnesia surrounding incident

What are some delayed responses to a concussion?


  • Concentration or memory difficulties
  • Irritability or changes in personality
  • Sensitivity to light or noise
  • Taste or smell disorders
  • Depression or adjustment issues

For more information on concussions, visit the Mayo Clinic.

How can sports injuries be prevented?


  • Ensuring adequate rest
  • Following proper technique
  • Teaching athletes to speak up regarding injuries and signs of fatigue
  • Using protective gear—head gear/helmets, eye protection, proper footwear and mouth guards.
  • Administering proper conditioning/coaching—include warm-up exercises and strength training.

How are sports injuries treated?


For sprains or bruises, remember: RICE

  • Rest
  • Ice
  • Compress
  • Elevate

In the case of muscular-related injuries, typically heat and stretching are advisable.

Who can help with sports-related injuries?


In addition to working with team coaches, trainers and other key personnel, consulting with specialists in sports injuries may be helpful. These professionals include: sports medicine doctors, sports physical therapists, physiotherapists and orthopedics.

What accounts for the increase in sports-related injuries?


Experts attribute more injuries to an increased participation in sports. In fact, according to the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC), children or adolescents participate in organized sports has jumped to over 30 million.  In addition, the highly competitive nature of team sports on any level adds to the risk of injury.  Surprisingly, it’s not just contact sports such as football that are concerning; in fact, cheerleading and gymnastics account for a high percentage of annual injuries.  But, the CDC still believes more than half of all sports-related injuries are preventable.

What else can parents do?


  • Encourage kids to report any injury or signs of sports-related fatigue
  • Ensure proper gear is utilized
  • Discourage premature return to play, which may result in re-injury

Need additional information on sports injuries for your athlete or team? Visit www.stopsportsinjuries.org and learn about the campaign to stop sports-related injuries.

Kathy Rembisz 
Contributing Writer