Seven Sports that Could Land Your Child in ER
March 3, 2017 at midnight
Childhood — especially in the US — is not complete without sports. It's a quintessential part of growing up and as a parent, you encourage it because you want your kids to have fun, make friends, improve their fitness, and maybe even score an athletic scholarship.
According to recent estimates, 30 million children participate in organized sports. This number continues to rise annually, and with all these children running around on fields and dodging balls on courts, many are bound to get injured. Every year, over 3.5 million kids and 2 million high schoolers receive medical treatment for sports-related injuries. So if your budding athlete plays any of the following sports, a visit to the emergency room may be unavoidable:
By the nature of the sport, concussions are very common — whether from being tackled to the ground or the impact of contact with opponents. As such, the sport has the highest concussion rate. Records show that a majority of these young athletes are still around middle school age. This is alarming because younger patients take a much longer period to recover from concussions.
On average, 120,000 children are taken to the hospital every year after getting hurt playing soccer. Concussions are also common in the sport, but most injuries are sprains and fractures caused by colliding with the ball or slamming into other players. Interestingly, girls' soccer is regarded as more dangerous than the boys' soccer because female bodies develop differently.
Aside from sprains and strains in the lower extremities, researchers are now seeing an increase of 70% in traumatic brain injuries when playing basketball. This can be blamed on players being younger and more competitive. Bigger and stronger players, mostly due to intense training, are also responsible for the increase in head injuries.
Riding a bike around the neighborhood seems relatively harmless when compared to the impact sports mentioned above; you might not even think twice about letting your child pedal down a suburban street or in a city park. However, half a million children are injured every year in cycling-related accidents. Many of these are head injuries that could have been avoided by wearing a correctly fitted helmet.
Skateboarding & Scootering
As with biking, don't let your kid on a skateboard or scooter without the protection of a helmet and pads. The most common injuries in this sport are to the face, ankle, and wrist as children like trying tricks that are probably still too complicated for their motor skill level. That said, many of those who end up in the ER usually receive their injuries from being hit by a vehicle.
When children get hurt on the playground, it's not difficult to see they've been injured. But when an injury occurs in the water, many parents don't even notice. Even worse, they might not realize their child is in serious trouble because they dismiss it as diving or playing around. Research shows that almost 90% of swimming injuries occur in and around swimming pools where kids hit their heads on the sides or bottoms of pools.
There are still many states that don't consider cheerleading as a sport. This lack of government regulation contributes to the high risk of sometimes catastrophic injury, like brain damage and paralysis, among
cheerleaders. It's not exactly a surprise that an activity involving acrobatics, flying, and human pyramids is dangerous. But because it's still usually classified as entertainment and not athletics, safety is not always a priority.
Prevention is always better than cure, so get your kids to be careful!