Thursday, December 5, 2013

Common Injuries Sustained By Children While Playing

Original source :
Posted : May 2013

It is important to help your child become more physically active and involved in playing sports. It is also important to become more aware of the most common injuries children receive while playing sports.
Here is an account of common injuries that children sustain while playing sports:

1. Dehydration:
Those children who are involved in sports have a higher risk of becoming dehydrated than children who aren’t involved in sports-related activities. Dehydration can take place long before there are any signs.
Signs And Symptoms:
* Fatigue.
* Nausea.
* Weakness.
* Dizziness.
* Dry, cool skin.
* Not being able to sweat.
* Irritability.
* Eyes that appear to be sunken in.
* Dark urine.
* Dry, sticky mouth.
The best way to prevent dehydration is to make sure kids get plenty of fluids when they’re physically active - they should consume more fluids than they lose from sweating. It’s important that kids drink often during hot weather. Those who participate in sports or strenuous activities should drink some extra fluid before the activity begins. They should also drink at regular intervals (every 20 to 30 minutes) during the course of the activity and after it ends. Ideally, sports practices and competitions should be scheduled for the early morning or late afternoon to avoid the hottest part of the day.
The goal in treating dehydration is to replace fluids in order to restore the levels of body fluids to normal. The replacement of lost fluids is known as rehydration, which is achieved by replacing the lost fluids using an oral rehydration salt (ORS) over the course of a few hours. Start the rehydration process by giving your child 1 or 2 teaspoons (5 or 10 milliliters) of an ORS every few minutes. Although this may not seem like enough fluids to rehydrate your child, these small amounts can add up to more than a cup (237 milliliters) an hour. Even kids who are vomiting can usually be successfully rehydrated this way because the small frequent sips get absorbed in between the vomiting episodes.

2. Fractured Growth Plate:
Growth Plate Fractures
Fractured growth plates are also a common injury in children that play sports. It is most seen in the “long bones,” such as the upper leg, forearm, and bones in the foot. Growth plate injuries are most common in sports that use repetition, such as running, football, or basketball. If left untreated, your child’s bones can become misshapen or cause the bone to become crooked as it grows.
Signs And Symptoms:
* Inability to put weight or pressure on the limb
* Pain or discomfort
* Inability to move the limb
First Aid:
* If you suspect your child has a bone injury, try to give first aid until medical care can be provided:
* Remove clothing from the injured area.
* Apply an ice pack wrapped in cloth.
* Keep the injured limb in the position you find it.
* Place a simple splint, if you have one, on the broken area. The splint should be applied in the position of the injured limb to help keep it from bending or moving - do not try to move or straighten the limb. Splints can be made by using cardboard, a stack of newspapers, or anything firm, and can be padded with pillows, shirts, towels, or anything soft. Splints must be long enough to extend beyond the joints above and below the injury.
* Get medical care, and don’t allow the child to eat in case surgery is required.
Treatment for growth plate injuries initially involves resting and not bearing weight on the affected limb. Most of the time this can be accomplished by wearing a cast, splint, or brace over the area to prevent movement. This may be the only treatment necessary for minor growth plate injuries. Other times, however, bones that are displaced may have to be manipulated back into place through a gentle procedure, called a reduction. A reduction can be done quickly in a doctor’s office and only takes a few seconds to put the bones back into alignment. Afterward, the child may wear a splint or a brace for a few weeks to ensure that the bones do not move out of place. In kids older than 13 or young children with complicated injuries, surgery might be needed to realign the bones and fix the growth plate. Surgical plates, screws, or wires might secure the area so that the bone continues to grow normally. After surgery, some kids will wear a cast during recovery.

3. Cuts, Scrapes, Lacerations And Bruises:
These injuries happen to all children at some point:
* Cuts, lacerations, gashes and tears (wounds that go through the skin [dermis] to the fat or muscle tissue)
* Scrapes, abrasions, scratches and floor burns (superficial wounds that don’t go all the way through the skin)
* Bruises (bleeding into the skin) without an overlying cut or abrasion
The best way to help prevent these injuries is to make sure your child wears the proper sports equipment that allows your child’s skin to be protected.
If these injuries do occur, seek appropriate first aid techniques, such as cleansing the affected area, applying an antibacterial cream, and covering the scrape with a clean dressing to prevent infection.
When Sutures (stitches) are Needed
* Any cut that is split open or gaping needs sutures.
* Cuts longer than ½ inch (12 mm) usually need sutures.
* On the face, cuts longer than ¼ inch (6 mm) usually need closure with sutures or skin glue.
* Any open wound that may need sutures should be checked and closed as soon as possible (ideally, within 6 hours). There is no cutoff, however, for treating open wounds to prevent wound infections.

4. Concussions:
The term concussion conjures up the image of someone knocked unconscious while playing sports. But concussions - temporary loss of brain function - can happen with any head injury, often without any loss of consciousness.
Signs and symptoms:
* Headache or a feeling of “pressure” in the head
* Nausea or vomiting
* Balance problems or dizziness
* Double or blurry vision
* Sensitivity to light or noise
* Feeling sluggish, groggy or dazed
* Difficulty paying attention
* Memory problems
* Confusion
* Numbness or tingling
* Sleeping problems
* Mood changes
To protect your child from head injuries, insist on appropriate and properly fitted protective equipment - such as a helmet - during sports and other activities. However, helmets and mouth guards don’t protect against all concussions. Also, make sure your child knows that even a mild bump or blow to the head can cause a concussion, and that concussions don’t always involve a loss of consciousness. Kids who sustain concussions usually recover within a week or two without lasting health problems by following certain precautions and taking a breather from sports.
Seek emergency care for a child who experiences a head injury and:
* Vomiting
* A headache that gets worse over time
* Changes in his or her behavior, including irritability or fussiness
* Changes in physical coordination, including stumbling or clumsiness
* Confusion or disorientation
* Slurred speech or other changes in speech
* Vision or eye disturbances, including pupils that are bigger than normal (dilated pupils) or pupils of unequal sizes
* Changes in breathing pattern
* Lasting or recurrent dizziness
* Blood or fluid discharge from the nose or ears
* Large head bumps or bruises on areas other than the forehead, especially in infants under 12 months of age.

5. Sprains And Strains:
A sprain occurs when the ligaments, which hold bones together, are overstretched and partially torn. Simply overstretching any part of the musculature is called a strain. Sprains and strains generally cause swelling and pain, and there may be bruises around the injured area. Most sprains, after proper medical evaluation, can be treated at home. Following is an account of how to deal with it:
First Aid:
* If the injury involves your child’s neck or back, do not move him unless the child is in imminent danger. Movement can cause serious nerve damage. Call for emergency medical help. If your child must be moved, the neck and back must be completely immobilized first. Keeping the head, neck, and back in alignment, move your child as a unit.
* It may be difficult to tell the difference between a sprain and a break. If there is any doubt whatsoever, call your doctor or take your child to the nearest hospital emergency department. An X-ray can determine whether a bone is broken.
* First aid for sprains and strains includes rest, ice, compression, and elevation (known as RICE).
   + Rest the injured part of the body.
   + Apply ice packs or cold compresses for up to 10 or 15 minutes at a time every few hours for the first 2 days to prevent swelling.
   + Wearing an elastic compression bandage for at least 2 days will reduce swelling.
   + Keep the injured part elevated above the level of the heart as much as possible to reduce swelling.
* Do not apply heat in any form for at least 24 hours. Heat increases swelling and pain.
* Your doctor may recommend an over-the-counter pain reliever such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen.

6. Broken Bones:
A broken (fractured) bone requires emergency care. Suspect a possible broken bone if your child heard or felt a bone snap, if your child has difficulty moving the injured part, or if the injured part moves in an unnatural way or is very painful to the touch.
For a Suspected Broken Bone:
* If the injury involves your child’s neck or back, do not move him unless the child is in imminent danger. Movement can cause serious nerve damage. Call for emergency medical help. If your child must be moved, the neck and back must be completely immobilized first. Keeping your child’s head, neck, and back in alignment, move the child as a unit.
* If your child has an open break (bone protrudes through the skin) and there is severe bleeding, apply pressure on the bleeding area with a gauze pad or a clean piece of clothing or other material. Do not wash the wound or try to push back any part of the bone that may be sticking out.
* If your child must be moved, apply splints around the injured limb to prevent further injury. Leave the limb in the position you find it. The splints should be applied in that position. Splints can be made by using boards, brooms, a stack of newspapers, cardboard, or anything firm, and can be padded with pillows, shirts, towels, or anything soft. Splints must be long enough to extend beyond the joints above and below the fracture.
* Place cold packs or a bag of ice wrapped in cloth on the injured area.
* Keep your child lying down until medical help arrives.


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