Hand Doctors Explain “STOP:” to Prevent Children’s Sports Injury
School is back in session – which means many kids and teens will be trying out for new sports or resuming ones they already play. Team sports activities contribute to a child’s healthy lifestyle, and build important social skills. But with athletics can come sports injuries.
No matter what sport your child plays, our hand doctors want to ensure that your child stays injury free! That’s why we advocate for the new sports injury prevention program called “STOP” – Sports Trauma and Overuse Prevention.
“STOP” – Sports Trauma and Overuse Prevention
Children can sustain two types of sports injuries: acute and overuse. Acute injuries – such as fractures, sprains and dislocation – result from a single trauma or impact. However, overuse sports injuries are often harder to detect or diagnose because they happen subtly over time.
The STOP – Sports Trauma and Overuse Prevention program targets sports that have the highest rates of both overuse and traumatic injuries.
STOP: 8 Steps to Preventing Child Sports Injury
Always make sure that your child receives a pre-participation physical.
Make sure your kids warm up properly before any athletic activity. This includes both bringing the heart rate up from the resting level as well as stretching muscles to help prevent injury.
Children also need to cool down properly after any sport or athletic activity. This allows a child’s heart rate to gradually return to its resting level.
Ensure the child obtains adequate instruction on proper training and technique from coaches and trainers. Make sure that the child understands and follows these explicit instructions – as most overuse injuries occur as a result of improper training or technique.
Increase training and activity level gradually. Follow the “10% Rule” which means one should never increase training activity (weight, distance, or time) by more than 10 percent per week.
Make sure your child’s equipment fits properly. Everything from shoes to protective gear should be in good condition and fit properly to minimize the potential for injury.
Be sure your child stays hydrated at all times! Drinking sufficient water allows the child’s muscles to work properly, avoiding cramps and spasms. Water breaks should be taken a minimum of every 30 minutes – or more depending upon how strenuous the sport and how hot the temperature.
Allow times for your child to rest and take a break. Playing year-round sports can result in overuse injuries, if the body is not given an opportunity to rest and recover. So children should take at least one sports season off per year.
Following the STOP program is a great way to ensure your child avoids sports injury – and can “stay in the game” for life!
Top Clarkston Area Hand Doctor
If your child is suffering from any injury or pain in their fingers, wrist, elbow or arm, contact board certified Clarkston area doctor Dr. Rehman for a comprehensive evaluation and consultation.
As with most medical conditions, early detection, awareness, and a prevention or treatment plan is the most effective way to combat the effects of children’s sports injuries.
Doctor Rehman will assess your child’s individual situation, and prescribe the treatments that are best for your child’s condition – to ensure that they can get back to the sports and activities they enjoy as quickly as possible, without any longterm or permanent effects.