‘Young Children: Injuries In Contact Sports’ written by Margarita Gurevich published in Great Health Guide (May 2017). We should encourage young children to be physically active as it is vital to their health and well-being. However, there are some precautions that need to be observed particularly in contact sport. Find out what the risks are of exposing young children to contact sport and how we can minimize it in this great article written by senior physiotherapist Margarita.
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GREAT HEALTH: Young Children: Injuries In Contact Sports
written by Margarita Gurevich
Exercise and sport provide a vast amount of benefit to our physical and mental health. Naturally, there is the risk of injury when participating in sports. In this article, we will focus on several different types of injuries and illnesses which can be sustained during sport participation, with particular focus on how this may affect young children.
1. SPRAINS AND STRAINS:
Sprains refer to an injury of one or more ligaments (the tough, flexible tissues which connect two bones). Strains refer to an injury of the muscle (the tissue which contracts, allowing for movement) or tendon (the strong tissue which connects muscle to bone).
As with adults, children can experience sprains and strains to varying degrees, resulting in slight to severe pain and ranging from several days to several months off sport.
For children, an appropriate first response is to utilize the RICER protocol:
Rest: cease exercise on the affected area.
Ice: apply ice (best to wrap in a towel) for up to 20 minutes at a time on the affected area.
Compress: some areas may not be appropriate for this, however, a typical ankle sprain for example can be firmly wrapped to reduce swelling around the joint.
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Elevate: try to keep the affected area above the level of the heart – this means that if the knee has been injured, lay the child down and prop a pillow under the affected leg so that gravity can assist in draining blood away from the affected region.
Referral: if the injury appears immediately severe, or there is no improvement in several days, refer to a healthcare professional for evaluation.