Sports are very beneficial for our children

September 02 [Fri], 2011, 17:42
I love how much sports and physical hobbies can do for a growing person still in their youth. Not only does the regular activity do wonders for creating physical health in a child, but it also helps to build a myriad of life skills they can carry on into life. For one, the habit of health often carries on into life, but they also learn how to set goals, work with peers, and face opposition. The benefits go on, but there are also risks. In any intense physical activity, there are always injuries involved.

There are two types of injuries that you often in see when children are playing sports, and they are acute injuries and injuries from overuse.

It's important when acute injuries happen to address them immediately―this is why properly-prepared teams have medical staff at the scene to respond immediately. Refusing to acknowledge an injury that seems minor often leads to it becoming a serious problem later. An acute injury is sudden and typically unexpected. This includes a sprain, a strain, a broken bone, a skinned knee, a cut, or even a bruise. There are plenty of causes for this kind of injury. An athlete may run into another play on the field. They may twist their ankle while stumbling forward to retrieve a basketball. They may simply slip and fall down.

Overuse injuries, as the name implies, occur when a specific body part or muscle is overused and over trained. The impact of a repetitive unnatural motion over time adds up, and the end result is an injury that can often be long-lasting―perhaps for the rest of their lives. One common cause of this these days is that an increasing number of children are playing one sport all year instead of varying up their play between different activities as the seasons pass. Overuse injuries are also likely to occur when a child is not in good physical shape to begin with and suddenly starts hard core training with repetitive motions.

If your child starts experiencing a slight pain in a certain part of their body that never leaves or keeps reappearing, this may be a sign they are developing an overuse injury―and even more telling is when the body part specifically relates to the sport they've been training in (such as a baseball pitcher constantly complaining of a sore elbow). In most cases, the pain will continue to increase as time goes by, and if they take time to let it heal, they may find it flares up again when they return to activity.

If any of this sounds familiar to you, it's crucial to get your child looked at by a doctor immediately. Keep in mind that even if an injury starts out as an acute injury, it can become a long-term injury which does not go away. Any time they have physical symptoms, severe pain, immobility, or even inhibited ability, it may be time to speak with an expert. Sports are very beneficial for our children, but as always, safety is beneficial and important as well. Focus on achieving both.
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