Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Importance of Preventing Injuries Among Teens and Children

Encouraging children to participate in sports may be beneficial for them. They may develop cooperation and sportsmanship that they may use later in life and also improve their health. But any sport that may be participated by children also carries potential injuries. They are particularly prone to different injuries because of poor coordination, slow reactions, among others. Because of these reasons, injury prevention is an important aspect in the sports activities of children.

However, despite the efforts of parents and guardians, the occurrence of injuries while playing sports is inevitable. There are three common types of injuries that can be experienced by children which include acute injuries, overuse injuries, and re-injuries.

Acute Injuries

Acute pain may be mild and temporary, or severe and lengthy and may last for weeks or months. This kind of pain if left untreated may lead to chronic pain or painful sensations that persist even if a certain injury is healed. The time limit used to define chronic pain typically ranges from three to six months and may affect one’s way of living. Examples of acute injuries include minor bruises, sprains, and strains. Kids and teen athletes are prone to injuries like broken bones and torn ligaments.

Using the right equipments like ankle, knee, and wrist supporters are essential in preventing the development of acute injuries.

Overuse Injuries

Overuse injuries may develop because of repetitive actions that put excess stress and tension on the bones and muscles. It is one of the common causes of muscle pain which can also lead to the development of micro-tears on the tissue and cause a greater tear over a period of time. In addition to these effects, overused muscles may lose up to 40 to 50 percent of its normal strength. This condition may be painful and have a negative impact on one's physical performance and hamper mobility. Overuse injuries can be prevented by not exercising or training to the point of fatigue or over exhaustion.


Re-injury or repeat sports injury is another common sports injury which occurs when an athlete returns to the sport before a previous injury has sufficiently healed. Adults and children may heighten the risk of re-injury when they engage in sports or training activities before full recovery. Engaging in these activities too soon may place additional stress to the injury that have not fully healed. This condition can be avoided by allowing certain injuries to fully heal before playing sports activities or training.

Cases of acute, overuse, and repeat sports injuries in children should be prevented to impede the development of serious condition when these children grow up. Several studies suggest that these injuries acquired at a very young age may heighten the development of serious conditions like osteoarthritis when the child grows up. These injuries may result in continued deterioration to the bone surface and cartilage in the joints.

Knowing and understanding the do’s and don’ts of sports and other physical activities may greatly reduce the occurrence of injuries. For this reason, any sport or physical activity that children participates should be supervised by qualified adults.

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