4 Surprising Facts About Youth Sports Injuries
Even with the best intentions and preventative measures in place, accidents are bound to happen from time to time and youth athletes might get hurt. Hopefully it’s nothing too serious but sports parents and coaches have to prepare for the worst when it comes to youth sports injuries so every situation is handled properly. Here are 4 surprising statistics about sports injuries and what they mean for your youth athlete:
Overuse injury, which occurs over time from repeated motion, is responsible for nearly half of all sports injuries to middle-and high-school students.
This fact is one of the biggest arguments parents and coaches make in the case against early-specialization. Although some feel that early-specialization is the way to go, especially if you want your child to be good enough at their given sport to earn scholarships down the road (and maybe even go pro) others feel like the increased risk of overuse injuries is a good enough reason on its own to encourage youth athletes to become a multi-sport athlete.
Although 62 percent of organized sports-related injuries occur during practice, one-third of parents do not have their children take the same safety precautions at practice that they would during a game.
Practice-time is just as important as game-time, and not just because practice makes perfect. A vast majority of sports injuries occur during practices, usually because time spent in practice isn’t taken as seriously as game-time. Youth athletes might be more willing to goof-off during practice or not pay 100% attention to what they are doing, increasing their risk of injury. Parents and coaches have to make sure their athletes treat practices with as much care and respect as game time—this means paying attention, wearing the right gear, eating right and staying hydrated and taking the time to warm up properly.
50 percent of “second impact syndrome” incidents – brain injury caused from a premature return to activity after suffering initial injury (concussion) – result in death.
Concussions in youth sports should never be taken lightly! Even a light “ding” can cause serious damage to a youth athlete’s brain, especially if it is undiagnosed and a player goes back onto the field. If you have any suspicion that your athlete might be suffering from a concussion keep them off the field until they are cleared by a medical professional! Keep in mind that concussions can happen in any sport, not just football. Nor is it gender specific. For instance, female high school soccer athletes suffer almost 40% more concussions than their male counterparts.
Baseline testing is used to measure an athlete’s brain speed and accuracy and is taken before the sports season begins to provide a benchmark for comparison after a suspected concussion. This will help ensure your athlete is ready to get back in the game.
More than 2.6 million children 0-19 years old are treated in the emergency department each year for sports and recreation-related injuries.
Some sports injuries are little more than a jammed finger, skinned knee or bloody nose—while still serious and scary (especially for a young athlete), the “usual” sports injuries aren’t typically life-threatening. But there are very serious youth sports injuries like torn ACLs, sudden cardiac arrest, heat illnesses and more that require immediate medical attention. It’s so important that sports parents and coaches learn the symptoms of serious sports injuries so they can quickly. When it comes to serious sports injuries every second counts.