Back to School: Sports Injuries
The kids are finally back at school and parents rejoice, but school brings its own challenges with homework, the dreaded nits, and the far too common sports injuries. Why is it that kids can play all summer long with no more than a scratch but they’re back at school a week and have torn the knee out of their new school pants and have a broken ankle to go with it?
The most common sporting injuries are sprains and strains, and other than a few weeks of bandages, bruising and maybe a pair of crutches they’re relatively harmless injuries that sort themselves out. Unfortunately, sporting injuries aren’t limited to sprains and sometimes end up causing dislocations such as in shoulders and fingers, and broken wrists, ankles, and elbows, ouch! While some injuries are quite obvious through swelling and pain levels, sometimes the only way to tell the extent of an injury is to do an X-ray.
It may surprise some parents to learn that there’s no clear divide between boys and girls and that they’re equally likely to end up in the emergency department or radiology centre for a sport related injury. There doesn’t seem to be a huge difference in the amount of primary or secondary students in for scans either, and so safe sporting practices are equally as important for older and younger children.
What can they do to reduce the likelihood of injury?
Slow down and be careful seem like no brainers but it doesn’t hurt to remind kids as they’re often excited to dive in head first, literally. Warming up and stretching before any physical activity loosens the muscles and does reduce the amount of damage done when an injury occurs.
If your little one (or big one), does have a sporting injury you should firstly head to a GP, unless it’s clearly a more serious injury or they can’t move. Call an Ambulance or head to your nearest emergency room if there’s an obvious break or dislocation. Your GP may refer you to hospital or a radiologist for scans if they can’t be sure of the severity of an injury, there they will do an X-ray or scan to check for damage.
Doing an X-ray on a child can be difficult if they’re scared or fidgety as it’s important they stay still. A good radiographer will talk your child through the process of a scan and let them know what will happen and what they will feel, hear and see, so they feel comfortable and can co-operate in holding different poses.
Having a scan is a safe, painless procedure and you can check out more about the safety of imaging services here.
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