Protecting your athletes from sports-related injuries
It’s back to school, and that means young athletes are back in the books and on the playing field.
But before he enters the game, it’s important to teach your athlete the signs of a concussion and how to prevent them, as well as other sports-induced injuries.
Dr Thomas Gowan, medical director of the pediatric emergency room, said all sports have a high rate of ankle and knee sprains, and even concussions. There is also a high frequency of ligament tears such as ACL and MCL in the knees.
Football — Ankle and knee sprains and concussions
Football — Ankle sprains and torn knee and ankle ligaments
Baseball – Mainly sprained knees and torn ligaments in the shoulders.
Basketball – Ligament tears and fractured or sprained ankles.
Concussions are caused by the athlete’s head hitting or striking a hard object such as another player or the ground, causing the player’s head to move back and forth rapidly, said Gowan.
Symptoms are headache, ringing in the ears, nausea and vomiting, fatigue or drowsiness, and blurred vision. Other symptoms can include confusion and amnesia and even temporary loss of consciousness.
Short term — Headache, dizziness, lightheadedness, nausea and vomiting.
Long term — Concentration problems, memory problems and loss, irritability and personality changes, sensitivity to light and sound.
If the bone is broken, you won’t be able to bear weight on the end, Gowan said. If the injured area immediately develops swelling and bruising, there could be a very strong sign that the bone may be fractured. If there is a sprain, the pain is mild to moderate and the swelling is gradual.
The best treatment for a sprain is rest and alternating between cold and hot compresses to reduce inflammation.
To learn more about other pediatric services offered by North Central Baptist Children’s Hospital, call (210) 297-5033 or visit baptisthealthsystem.com/KidsER.