Prevent Sports Injuries in Your Young Athlete

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April 2, 2018

Prevent Sports Injuries in Your Young Athlete

Balls. Bats. Bruises. Sports injuries are common in young athletes. But the physical demands, equipment, and skills needed for each sport are different. “It’s important to know what to do to protect against injury and what to look out for with different sports,” says David Reinhardt, DO, Orthopedic Surgeon, Pennsylvania Orthopedic Associates, affiliated with Holy Redeemer Health System.

The following tips listed by popular outdoor sport can help you and your children get into a game plan of safety.

Soccer

  • Wear shin guards for every practice and every game.
  • Choose well-fitting shoes with molded or multi-studded cleats.
  • Be aware of poor field conditions that can increase injury rates.
  • Make sure to use equipment that lowers injury risk, such as synthetic waterproof balls and anchored goals.

Baseball/Softball

  • Pitchers should avoid pitching on consecutive days and rotate playing other positions.
  • Catchers should wear helmets, masks, chest-and-neck protectors, and shin guards.
  • Children who are batting need to wear a helmet.
  • Safe equipment includes breakaway bases.

Volleyball

  • Use knee pads and wear shoes that offer good shock absorption and provide strong support for ankles and arches.
  • “Call” the ball to reduce collisions.
  • To prevent overturning the net, never grab it or hang on to the supports.
  • Any wires that hold up the net should be covered with soft material.
  • Before playing, check outside courts for glass or other sharp objects.

“RICE” Spells Relief

Sports injuries are first treated with “RICE.” “Use this method to relieve pain, reduce inflammation, and speed healing,” says Dr. Reinhardt. Take these steps immediately after an injury:

Rest the injured area for at least 48 hours.
Ice the injured area, 20 minutes at a time, with a cold pack or ice bag.
Compress the injured area with an elastic wrap, special boot, air cast, or splint.
Elevate the injured area above the heart.

If pain or symptoms worsen, contact your child’s doctor immediately.

If you're interested in learning more about Holy Redeemer Sports Medicine program, click here.

Related Taxonomy
  - Pediatrics
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