It’s not stickball in the street anymore. Kids’ sports today carry serious risks as they play longer and harder than we did at their age. Whether you are rooting for the Scots, the Raiders or the Panthers, now that school is back in session, parents need to be on the alert for signs of injury.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), it is more serious than you might think. Your child has a 1 in 4 chance of being injured – most likely during practice rather than a game:
- More than 3.5 million kids under age 14 receive medical treatment for sports injuries each year.
- Among athletes ages 5 to 14, 28 percent of percent of football players, 25 percent of baseball players, 22 percent of soccer players, 15 percent of basketball players, and 12 percent of softball players were injured while playing their respective sports
- Children ages 5 to 14 account for nearly 40 percent of all sports-related injuries treated in hospitals.
- Overuse injuries are responsible for nearly half of all sports injuries to middle and high school students.
- Although 62 percent of organized sports-related injuries occur during practice, one-third of parents do not have their children take the same safety precautions at practice that they would during a game.
- Injuries associated with participation in sports and recreational activities account for 21 percent of all traumatic brain injuries among children in the United States.
- Since 2000 there has been a fivefold increase in the number of serious shoulder and elbow injuries among youth baseball and softball players.
The good news is that more than half of all sports injuries in children are preventable. According to Highland Park Emergency Room, five simple steps can prevent many injuries today and in the future:
- Take Safety Precautions – at all times, not just during a game, make sure your child is wearing protective gear and interacting with equipment safely. Impress upon your child that most injuries occur during practice.
- Prepare – Don’t neglect stretching, warm-ups and drills that can help your body prepare to play.
- Hydrate – School has started, but summertime temperatures are still here. Make sure your child is drinking water, taking regular breaks to cool off and standing in the shade or going inside during breaks.
- Know Your Sport – The common injuries for football are obviously different than baseball. By understanding how your child might get hurt, you can take steps to prevent injuries. STOP Sports Injuries has helpful sports-specific injury prevention suggestions.
- Take Injuries Seriously – Today’s sprain or break can come back to hurt your child again in the future if not treated properly. That bad headache? It could be a concussion. Don’t risk it. Find out for sure. Be sure your child has healed before heading back out to the field.
Already have an injured child? An emergency center is ideal for most sports injuries. They have the equipment and doctors to take X-rays and other tests like a hospital emergency room, but are less crowded and much faster than a traditional emergency room so you can get your child home sooner. Highland Park Emergency Room is open 24/7 and has admitting privileges with nearby hospitals if the injury requires a longer stay.
The next time your child has a sports injury, drive to Highland Park Emergency Room at 5150 Lemmon Ave., Suite 108, in Dallas. You can also call the emergency center at 214-443-8131. No appointments are necessary.
Highland Park Emergency Center
5150 Lemmon Ave Suite 108
Dallas, Texas 75209