National Youth Sports Safety Month
April is National Youth Sports Safety Month, an observance dedicated to raising awareness of sports injuries in our nation’s youth.
This month, Altus Emergency Centers joins multiple organizations across the country that lead the charge in spreading the message of injury prevention in young athletes.
Youth Sports Injuries by the Numbers
According to a report by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services from 2010 to 2016:
- An estimated 2.7 million emergency room visits in the U.S. were patients between the ages of 5 and 24 who had suffered a sport or recreational activity-related injury
- 66.5% of those sports injuries were from patients aged 10-19
- The analysis revealed that the top two sports responsible for sports-related ER visits were football and basketball
- The study also found that gymnastics or cheerleading accounted for an estimated 147,000 annual ER visits
- 89,000 yearly ER visits were the result of skateboarding injuries
- Cycling incidents were among the top five activities that resulted in ER visits for sports-related injuries, with most patients being 10-14 years of age
These findings are similar to older analysis, suggesting that youth Emergency Room visits due to sports injuries have stayed relatively stable in recent years.
Top Sport-Related Injury Diagnoses
The most common diagnoses associated with sports-related injuries are sprains, strains, and dislocations.
Broken bones, contusions, and superficial wounds are also quite common.
More worrying are traumatic brain injuries such as concussions that, sustained repeatedly or left untreated, could have long-term consequences.
Sports-Related Injury Prevention
The statistics above are scary for anyone who has a child. The good news is that many of these injuries are preventable.
- Schedule a health checkup before your kids start participating in an organized team. Knowing your child is healthy enough to play the sport will give you peace of mind and can help lower your child’s risk of serious injury.
- Make sure to keep young athletes well hydrated.
- Warming up before engaging in a vigorous physical activity is a healthy habit all children should learn as soon as possible. Stretching and warm-up exercises can help prevent sprains and strains.
- Know and teach your kids the signs of heat-related illnesses such as heat stroke and heat exhaustion. Symptoms include dizziness, headaches, nausea and vomiting, muscle cramps, not sweating, shortness of breath, and confusion. If your child notices any of these symptoms in themselves or another, instruct them to call 911.
- Insist they wear appropriate protective gear, including helmets, elbow pads, knee pads, and shin guards.
- Don’t let your child play if they feel unwell or have an injury they have not recovered from.
- Encourage your kids to try different sports to avoid straining specific muscle groups or joints.
- Always listen to kids when they report an injury or experience aches and pains and seek medical attention.
Since children are still growing, even minor injuries left unchecked can lead to more significant problems in the years to come.
When to Come to Altus ER
Bring your child to the ER if they Injured a limb and are having trouble moving it or putting any weight on it, or you suspect they may have fractured a bone.
Rush to the nearest Altus Emergency Center if you notice any of these signs:
- Loss of consciousness
- Trouble breathing
- Bleeding that won’t stop
- Vomiting more than once
- Changes in behavior, memory loss, confusion, dizziness
- Neck pain
- Abdominal pain
All Altus Emergency Centers have a pediatric ward with size-appropriate equipment and trained staff. We are always open, day or night. If your child is in need, we are here to help.
At Altus Baytown ER, We Are In-Network With MEDICARE!
Altus Baytown ER is the Preferred Outpatient NO WAIT Emergency Room of Altus Hospital.
We’re Open 24/7, Including Holidays.