We are now approaching the end of September and both primary and secondary schools are back in full swing after the Summer Break. This means that the vast list of sports being played in these schools, are also well under-way. This usually also means there is a great increase in the number of kids hobbling in the door after training sessions and practice. Of course the healing powers of young people are enviable but “young” does most certainly not mean invincible!
A minor injury to an adult may have different consequences to a growing young athlete. Both coaches and players can help to prevent the ocurrence of injuries through conditioning exercises, warm-up’s and warm-down’s and learning the proper techniques involved in playing different sports. So here is guide to some of the commonly seen injuries in school sports and also some suggestions for avoiding them.
Very few players can touch the hoop but flying balls and fast-travelling limbs make basketball a “contact” non-contact game. Sprains occur when players quickly change directions, especially ankle and knee sprains. This is where warm-ups are particularly important and proper stretching will help to minimise the chance of injuries occurring. The court itself (whether indoor gym or outdoor asphalt) plays a crucial role and wet-courts should be avoided whenever possible.
Rugby is as physical a game as there is so it comes with a lot of risks. Sprains, tears and pulls are all part of the game and tackling can lead to a number of problems such as shoulder dislocations. Younger athletes can suffer from long term brain damage when returning to action too early after concussion. Protective padding such as shoulder pads and head-gear are strongly advised when playing rugby. ALWAYS wear a gum shield while playing.
The lower half of the body does the majority of the work with running and that is generally where we see the injuries. Runners may see tendinitis and muscle strains. Wearing proper running shoes will help you to avoid Shin Splints as well. Girls as more susceptible to knee injuries than boys are they naturally have wider hips. Again proper stretching and cooling down are vital to staying injury free. Proper hydration is vital for muscle function so keep drinking water during prolonged periods of running (this of course applies to all sports).
Poor technique while playing can lead to the feared ACL injury, a injury which damages the ligament vital to the knees overall stability. Concussions (clashing heads) and shoulder injuries (from falls) are all part of the game. Proper football boots and stud choice (based on terrain you are playing on) are important as they will reduce the risk of ankle and knee sprains. Shin pads should always be worn when playing.
A Different Type of Injury? The Couch Potato
Getting no exercise at all is more damaging to health than getting most sports injuries. Keeping active is fundamental to fighting obesity. Heavier children automatically put more strain on their joints daily increasing their risk of injuries during their lifetime. Other issues which can be encountered are Diabetes, Heart Disease and Arthritis.
Before Playing Sport
As a parent, your child’s safety while playing sport is a major concern. One of the best ways for your child to reduce the risk of injury on the field or court is to get into good condition,which means they will have improved flexibility and strength. If there are prior concerns about your child’s health, seek a physicians advice first, regardless of age, gender or sports played. Schools make every effort to try and prevent injuries happening and coaches will always teach best practices and techniques within their sport to try an minimise injuries occuring.
If your child has been unfortunate and suffered from an injury, we can help to get your child back on the pitch or court doing what they love. Contacts us if you wish to book an appointment.