Childhood is full of bumps and bruises. However, sports-related accidents can be traumatic, especially if they are not properly managed at home.
With more options and specialized equipment and gymnasiums, children who play sports are more involved than ever before. Unfortunately, this also means that sports-related injuries are on the rise. The problems may come from repetitive use of their shoulders (as in baseball or swimming) or knees (typically seen in gymnasts or dancers). Other injuries can be more accidental, such as an on-field collision in football or a jammed finger on the basketball court. Organized sports usually have a medical professional available to triage injuries immediately and make the determination if the child needs to be seen by a doctor. But after the diagnosis, what happens?
For overuse injuries, your pediatrician in Easton will typically recommend resting the affected limb or joint and possibly anti-inflammatory medication to reduce the characteristic swelling. Sometimes the injury is severe enough to require physical therapy. The doctor's orders must be followed to the letter to prevent recurrence or further damage, and the activity may have to be pared down or modified once the child returns to the sport.
Likewise, more serious trauma will require a period of rehabilitation, which will likely mean complete downtime from their sport. Broken bones need time to heal under casts, while concussions generally employ a "watchful waiting" approach after diagnosis. In any case, a slow return to normal activities is advised.
Prevention and proactivity
Parents will likely be hypersensitive to the possibility of further injury after their child returns to their activity. It is important to communicate with both your child and their coaches to make sure safety techniques and equipment are being utilized properly. Warming up, stretching and adequate hydration should be advocated as well to prevent another problem.
Although any physical activity has risk factors involved, children should be encouraged to play sports that meet their interest and skill level to maintain their health and social interaction. With proper safety measures in place and diligent parenting and coaching, injuries are much less likely to occur.