Vim & Vigor - Winter 2020 - GMC - 18

18

committee of the American
Academy of Pediatrics Council on
Sports Medicine and Fitness. "And
I think, unfortunately, injuries get
highlighted, and that makes people not want to let their kids play.
For the overwhelming majority of
kids, the benefits of sports far outweigh the risks of injury."
So how do we keep our young
athletes safe? And what do we do
if they are injured?

Change Will Do
Them Good

You've done all you can to prevent
an injury, but your child still ends
up hobbling to the sidelines. Help
make recovery easier by following
a few crucial guidelines.
Seek medical care for the injury.
"If a certified athletic trainer is
on-site, they will evaluate the
injury and determine next steps,"
says Kristin Crea, director of sports
medicine at Northside Hospital
Duluth. "Depending upon severity, it may require a visit to your
physician, an urgent care center
or an emergency room." Providers
will determine whether the injury
requires more specialized care
from an orthopedist, she says.
Follow the treatment plan to
the letter. Once a doctor has diagnosed the injury, don't allow your
child to return to practice or games
until he or she is cleared to do so
by the doctor, physical therapist or
athletic trainer.
Get instructions for what's
next. Ask your doctor what to do
after the injury heals. "Determine
how your child should get back
to the game," Crea says. "Does a
safe return include a gradual progression? What are the doctor's
tips to keep your child from getting reinjured?"

Recognize
the Signs of
Concussion

The Concussion Institute at
Northside Hospital Duluth has
developed "A Parent's Guide to
Concussion Care" to help parents
recognize the signs and understand what to do if a child gets
a concussion. Download it at
northside.com/concussionguides.

she says, it's far more beneficial for
the child in the long term to take a
break from the sport for a season
to focus on something else.

Rest for Success

Adequate rest time is as important
as variety, although rest can be
tough to accomplish if a child plays
on multiple teams or on highly
competitive teams, LaBella says.
"We see a lot of times where
overuse injuries could be prevented
by making sure kids get enough
breaks throughout the week and
year from their sport, so they have
time for rest and recovery," she

PHOTO BY GETTY IMAGES

Step one is to make sure youth athletes are not overdoing it with one
sport, says Elizabeth Matzkin, MD,
a youth sports injuries specialist
who serves on the board of directors for the American Academy of
Orthopaedic Surgeons.
"Overuse injuries are probably
the biggest thing we're seeing right
now, and it's important to recognize that the majority of overuse
injuries are preventable," Matzkin
explains. "We are seeing overuse
injuries occurring in younger and
younger athletes, and that happens especially as they become
one-sport athletes, focused on just
one sport year-round."
Kids' growing bodies need
variety, Matzkin says. Doing the
same activity intensely every day
can lead to serious problems for
a child's developing joints, ligaments, muscles and bones.
"We really encourage kids to
play multiple sports and not focus
all their time year-round on one
sport," she says.
That can be difficult,
she recognizes.
"It's hard to pull your kid out of
winter soccer, because there's this
fear of doing them a disservice-
what if they fall behind and they
don't make the team next year?"
she says. In this soccer example,

How to
Recover from
a Sports Injury

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Vim & Vigor - Winter 2020 - GMC

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Vim & Vigor - Winter 2020 - GMC - Contents
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