June is National Safety Month for a reason—as school lets out and summer weather rolls in, kids and young adults are heading outdoors for sports, camps and other recreational activities, which means the risks for injury will be on the rise. That’s why Methodist McKinney Hospital is here to offer a few tips for parents on how to keep kids safe.
Sports injuries can really run the gamut; everyday scrapes and bruises are expected, but other injuries can include serious brain and spinal cord damage. Arguably though, most sports related injuries fall somewhere in the middle. According to Dr. William Humeniuk, an orthopedic surgeon at Methodist McKinney Hospital, the most common injuries include:
• Sprains & strains
• Growth plate injuries
• Repetitive motion injuries
• Heat-related illnesses
Stay ahead of injuries this summer with these simple tips.
1. Rely on organized sports clubs or schools groups.
Those interested in playing a team sport should enroll through a school or organized community program, and play only in recreation areas that are well maintained. Coaches should demonstrate a commitment to injury prevention and be trained in first aid and CPR. By participating in an organized school or community sports program, participants will learn proper form and technique and effectively prevent potential injuries.
2. Hydrate, recover and guard against the sun.
Hydration is key during summer play—increased temperatures and humidity make heat sickness and exhaustion more likely. Kids around 90 pounds should have about 10 gulps of water after 20 minutes of play, while a teenager of 130 pounds should have twice as much in the same timeframe. And as you combat heat from the inside-out, don’t forget to protect kids from the outside-in, with sunscreen and rimmed hats.
Dr. Humeniuk believes that many of the injuries he treats are owed to a lack of recovery time, especially where kids are concerned. Recovery time reduces the risk of overuse injuries and muscle tears. Remember to not push too hard, too long and from too young an age.
3. RICE: Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation.
Treatment for a sports-related injury will vary depending on the injury, but soft tissue injuries such as a sprain or strain are among the most common. Parents can treat this type of injury immediately by remembering the acronym “RICE”: Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation.
Always seek professional treatment for severe injuries, including fractures or dislocated joints, prolonged swelling or prolonged or severe pain. If your child suffers any kind of blow to the head, monitor them closely for concussion symptoms (e.g. inability to concentrate, headache, blurry vision, dizziness or imbalance, anxiousness, altered sleeping pattern).
Learn more about pediatric services at Methodist McKinney Hospital by visiting our main pediatrics page. Questions about a pediatric procedure or treatment specialty? Call our office at 972-569-2700 for a consultation.