Sports injuries in children are common occurrences. Since child tissue is delicate compared to adults they have a high risk and rate of injury and some of the injuries are specific to this age group. In order to prevent these injuries, sports most suitable to the body type of the child shall be chosen and warming and flexing exercises before and after the training shall not be neglected.
Sports injuries are inherent in sports. It is seen in children and adults alike. Muscles and ligaments of children are stronger and more flexible compared to adults. On the other hand some parts of the bones and cartilages are weaker. Therefore most frequent and serious injuries in childhood are observed in bones and cartilages.
Sports shall be chosen suitable for the child’s body
While the muscles of the children develop with training, bones do not grow at the same speed. This can cause problems in bones and bone growth areas. This problem increases when the child does not engage in a sport fitting her anatomic structure and motor development. Therefore, it is beneficial for parents to consult a paediatric orthopaedist when selecting a sports branch for their children. Experts do not only check the child’s muscle structure, height and weight but also their motor development. Hand-eye coordination, jumping, running, standing on one foot, switching between legs are also evaluated to determine the most suitable sports for the child. When the child choses a suitable sport majority of injuries are prevented. The child has a chance to engage (even if not professionally) in a sports she loves for the rest of her life.
Warming, flexing and stretching exercises are important
Selecting a sport suitable for the child is not enough to prevent injuries. However, not neglecting stretching and flexing before and after trainings is important to prevent injuries. Studies show that stretching and warming before sports increase endurance by 30 percent. Additionally, the person running the training shall be trained and an observant person.
A study found that chronic and acute injuries are most frequently seen when a child moves from a team to a higher team. Disproportionate increase in the expectations from the child during this transition period is the major reason of injuries.
Most frequent injuries
Of the one million children licensed in sports, one third is girls and two thirds are boys. Therefore, sports injuries are seen more in boys. The most frequent sports injuries are muscle-joint sprains and strains, bruises, dislocation and fractures. Although varying by the sport, most commonly injured area is the knee. Ankle and shoulder joints follow the knee.
30% of the children presented to the emergency are results of sports injuries. Most of these injuries recover within 10-15 days. However, treatments exceeding 15 days are applied to one tenth of the cases. Only 4 in 10,000 injuries are serious enough to quit sports.
At this point diagnosis has great importance. Since children are anatomically different from adults, their MRI results shall be evaluated by paediatric orthopaedists or radiology specialists familiar with childhood radiology. For example, radiologic outlook evaluated as meniscus tear in an adult is a feature of growing knee joint of a child that shall be considered normal.
Beware the time to resume sport!
Special attention is required in the process to resume sports after injury. Adults, despite having pain after treatment, can resume sports and perform reasonably. However, it is difficult for children to use limbs in pain. When they engage in sports while having pains, the sport will stop being fun and may be alienated.
This is very important with respect to the health of the child’s musculoskeletal system. When a child suffers from a sports injury, she shall be prevented from competition during treatment, as long as pains continue and cannot fully use the limb in sports.
Contents of the page are for information purposes only, you must consult your doctor for diagnosis and treatment.