As summer approaches, your kids may soon head off to a summer or day camp, increase their time outside, or join a team sport. Keep them safe with these tips for preventing injuries in kids and teens.
Preventing injuries in kids and teens is important, especially if they play sports. Find out everything you need to know about how to protect your kids and teens now.
Unlike adults, kids and teens still have growing bodies—including bones, muscles, and ligaments—which can make injuries more serious and negatively impact their strength and coordination.
Children may be especially prone to injury because their growth plates are still developing. Growth plates are the areas at the ends of long bones with tissue and cartilage. An injury to these growth plates could result in abnormal bone growth.
Sudden injuries, such as a twisted ankle, a fall, a sprain, or a broken bone, are known as acute injuries. For these injuries, kids and teens should see a provider right away.
To help with immediate swelling and discomfort before you get to the provider, you can apply the RICE method:
Wrap with a compression bandage
Elevate the injury
Injuries that occur gradually or after repeated use, often when the body doesn’t have enough time to recover, are called overuse injuries. Overuse injuries can occur in the elbows, knees, back, feet, shins, neck, and more.
Unlike acute injuries, overuse injuries may not show obvious signs. Look for swelling or for pain that has no immediate cause or that worsens during or after the activity.
As with acute injuries, if you suspect your child or teen of having an overuse injury, take him or her to the provider right away.
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This health information or program is for educational purposes only and not intended to treat, diagnose, or act as a substitute for medical advice from your provider. Consult your healthcare provider and always follow your healthcare provider’s instructions.
“A Guide to Safety for Young Athletes,” American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. Accessed March 27, 2017.
“10 Tips for Preventing Sports Injuries in Kids and Teens,” Johns Hopkins Medicine. Accessed March 27, 2017.
“2017 Sports Injury Prevention Tip Sheet,” American Academy of Pediatrics. March 16, 2017.