Sports participation is a major cause of serious injury among youth making sports activities, the second most frequent cause of injury for male and female adolescents. According to John Hopkins Medicine, 30 million children and teens participate in some form of organized sports in which more than 2.6 million children, 19 years of age and younger, are treated annually in hospital emergency rooms for sports-related injuries. Although the majority of athletic injuries (62%) occur during practice, 50% of these injuries can be avoided.
Obviously, some sports, contact sports versus non-contact sports, are more dangerous than others, e.g., football versus swimming. Although death from a sports-related injury is rare, it does occur — the leading cause, brain injury or TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury). Of all TBIs that occur among American children, including concussions, 21% involve sports and recreational-related activities. In an effort to educate parents, coaches, athletes and healthcare professionals, on injury prevention in youth athletes, the National Youth Sports Safety Foundation (NYSSF) was formed in 1989. In 2001, the non-profit foundation designated April as National Youth Sports Safety Month as a means to enhance public awareness for safety in youth sports.
We always urge residents to be vigil in safeguarding the health and welfare of young athletes. “It requires a team effort, McGee states, “it takes everyone from parents, coaches and children working together during practice and during the sporting event to prevent sports injuries.” By following these simple safety tips, adults, as well as children, can prevent sports injuries especially among children:
If your child is involved in youth sports, the National Athletic Trainers Association (NATA) advises parents to become educated about the risk of injuries, especially concussions and any other injury that is particularly associated with your child’s chosen sport to include meeting the Athletic Trainers on staff. If there are no Athletic Trainers available, advocate for one.
For more information on how to prevent sports injuries, visit John Hopkins Medicine hopkinsmedicine.org/, Center for Disease Control and Prevention cdc.gov/, Safe Kids Worldwide safekids.org/, American Academy of Pediatrics aap.org/, National Institute of Health Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) niams.nih.gov/, and Stop Sports Injuries stopsportsinjuries.org/.
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The information herein on "April is National Youth Sports Safety Month" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, or licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.
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Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CIFM*, IFMCP*, ATN*, CCST
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