As your child gets ready to go back to school, they may also be preparing for the fall sports season. And when you cheer on your child from the sidelines, you may be worried about them sustaining a sports injury. While you can’t prevent all injuries, it’s important to know the signs and symptoms associated with common conditions. The family medicine team at Hillside Family Medicine in Anchorage, AK, urges you to be aware of the following injuries this year.
Common Youth Sports Injuries
Especially if your child plays soccer, football, or another contact sport, it’s important to understand the severity of concussions. These injuries happen when a blow to the head causes the brain to move inside of the skull. Symptoms of a concussion include dizziness, headaches, confusion, blurry vision, vomiting, nausea, and passing out. If your child is experiencing these symptoms, seek medical help immediately and follow up with your family medicine practitioner.
A tear of the anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL, occurs with sudden impact to the knee. This can happen through a collision or if the athlete turns or lands with force. When an athlete experiences this injury, they will likely feel sudden pain and hear a pop in the knee. They will also likely have trouble walking and develop swelling. If you suspect an ACL tear, a doctor can run the necessary tests to confirm or diagnose another injury.
This pesky injury is common at the beginning of a sports season, as they often develop when an athlete suddenly introduces more activity. Shin splints are especially common in runners. When an athlete develops shin splints, it happens as a result of inflammation around the shin bone. If your child complains of pain of the shin, particularly coming from the inner edge, take them to a doctor for diagnosis and treatment.
As your child is having fun out on the field, they might not remember to drink enough water. Especially in the heat, this can put them at risk for dehydration. If your child shows symptoms including nausea, headache, muscle cramping, and fatigue, encourage them to pause and drink water. It’s also important to emphasize the importance of hydration to your child, so they remember to drink water during practices, games, and throughout the day leading up to their activity.
These injuries are quite common in youth sports, as they result from quick movements. Specifically, a sprain happens when the ankle rolls inward, straining the outside ligaments and muscles. If your child is having trouble walking and has a swollen ankle following this type of injury, they could have a sprain.
While many children will experience injuries during their sports careers, it’s important that they have a caring family medicine staff on their side. If your child experiences a sports injury, the staff at Hillside Family Medicine is here to provide the diagnosis and treatment they need. For more information on their services, visit their website, or call (907) 344-0200.