Preventing and Treating Sports Injuries in Children
Although many people associate sports with warm weather, as you most likely know from working for a not for profit organization, sports are a year-round way of keeping children occupied and active. Each year, over three million children ages 14 and under suffer from sports-related injuries. It’s estimated that as many as 20 percent of children participating in sports are injured each year. Young athletes are at an increased risk for injury because their bones, muscles, tendons and ligaments are still growing.
Although there is risk of injury involved, that chance should never injury should never keep a child from participating in sports. Instead coaches, officials and staff need to follow safety guidelines and provide the proper protective equipment to keep young athletes safe during play. Parents, coaches and children are encouraged to follow these safety precautions:
- Have an adult present whenever children engage in sports
- Make sure children are using appropriate and properly fitted protective equipment
- Teach children to stretch beforehand to reduce the risk of strains or other injuries
- Remind children to cool down afterwards.
- Drink plenty of liquids before playing to prevent dehydration
- Don’t play when tired or in pain
If Injury Occurs
Prompt treatment can often prevent a minor injury from turning into something much worse. The first step is to use RICE therapy—an acronym for the steps you should take immediately following an injury:
- Rest: After being injured, an athlete should immediately rest
- Ice: Ice the injury to prevent swelling
- Compress: Wrap a bandage or towel around the injury
- Elevate: Elevating the injury can help drain excess fluid and reduce swelling
Sometimes, an injury will be more severe. If a child displays any of the following signs, he or she may need to visit the doctor:
- Inability or decreased ability to play
- Visible deformity
- Severe pain that prevents the use of an arm or leg
- Symptoms which persist or affect athletic performance
For additional advice on how to minimize risk at your not for profit organization, contact our industry ‘A’ Team expert.
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