Caring for Common High School Sports Injuries
With the start of the school year, we also get the start of high school sports seasons – which means your kids might soon be coming home with some injuries. Many young athletes will come home with the usual assortment of bumps, bruises and scrapes, but some high school sports injuries are definitely more serious than others. If your kids plan on playing sports this year, here are a few of the most common high school sports injuries and how to treat them.
Knee Injuries – Knee injuries are one of the most common high school injuries, especially during football season. Joints, especially the knee, are very susceptible to stress and injury during the adolescent years, and high impact sports like football or hockey put a lot of strain on young knees. Many knee injuries will be simple strains or twists, but can be as serious as ACL tears and require knee surgery. Lighter injuries will usually clear up with ice and rest, but don’t hesitate to see an orthopedic physician if it seems like a more serious knee injury.
Sprains – Sprains, especially in the ankles, are also incredibly common in high school athletics. Quickly changing speed and direction while wearing cleats in the grass can easily twist or sprain an ankle. For slight sprains, your young athlete should rest, ice, compress and rest from play until pain-free. More serious sprains may require further evaluation and treatment.
Overuse Injuries – Aches like tendonitis and shin splints are some of the most common injuries in any athlete and typically result when athletes repeatedly irritate their limbs without proper rest. The main cure for these injuries is rest, so your child should be ready to talk to their coaches about the need for light practice work. It’s always tough to stay on the sidelines, but without healing rest, these injuries can turn into stress fractures or worse.
Dental Injuries – Dental injuries have become less common with the rising use of mouth guards, but when they happen, they can be some of the most gruesome injuries for young athletes. These can include injuries to the jaw, teeth and soft tissue, with chipped or cracked teeth being among some common baseball and hockey injuries. Restorative dentistry, like dental implants, can be tough to take for a teenager but will look and function just like a natural tooth.
Concussions – Concussions are one of the biggest worries in nearly all high school sports, even those that aren’t high-contact. Concussions can occur from even seemingly light hits to the head, so if your child took a big hit during a game, you may want to get them looked at. Recovery from concussions can take weeks or months without strenuous activity or environment, so be prepared to help your child with their recovery.
Nearly two-thirds of sports injuries occur during practice, so make sure that your coaches are actively working to promote a safe practice and training environment. If your athlete does suffer an injury during a practice or game, remember that proper rest and ice are valuable tools to help treat injuries. For many injuries, simple rest and light work will have your athlete back on the field in no time.