If you are a parent, and your child lives an active lifestyle, it is likely that your child  may get injured. Four million children under the age of 15 are hurt every year, some playing on the playground and some on sports teams from Little League baseball to intramural school events.  While there is a certain amount of risk involved in all activities, parents, coaches, and program supervisors share the ultimate responsibility for providing a safe and healthy playing environment.  A balanced, well-managed environment provides a fertile ground for the child’s natural growth and development, physically, emotionally, and socially.

But even in the safest of settings, accidents happen, and children may get hurt. Knowing the types of common injuries, as well as why and how children get hurt, will help parents, coaches and other individuals find preventive measures, and help reduce the incidence of injury.

Sprains, strains, contusions, abrasions, and lacerations make up 60 percent of all sports injuries to children. Surprisingly, fractures account for less than 15 percent of injuries.  As a general rule, the younger the child, the less severe the injury is. However, it is also true that the more rapidly children grow; the more susceptible they are to injure a bone growth site (knee, heel, shoulder, elbow, hip, and back).

Given the spontaneous nature of children and the “controlled chaos” of children’s play, its of no surprise that falls and twists result in strains and sprains, bruises and abrasions. 

  • Soccer is the most popular sport in the world, and the fastest growing team sport in the U.S. Soccer players who are hit by the ball, fall, and come into contact with other players, often suffer bruises, knee, ankle, and shin injuries.
  • Playground equipment, although not associated with a sport, is responsible for an estimated 125,000 injuries annually. Three quarters of all playground injuries happen on swings and monkey bars. Injuries on slides and seesaws account for the remaining fourth. (US Consumer Product Safety Commission).
  • Children who complain of elbow pain are likely to be suffering from an overuse syndrome. Little League Elbow, for example, results in pain, stiffness, and reduced range of motion.  This injury is directly related to the frequency and intensity of the pitch. Swimmers and skaters may also be at risk for overuse injuries because of repetitive stresses placed on particular joints.
  • Osgood-Schlatter’s Disease is not a disease, but a mechanical injury of the knee at the location where the kneecap tendon attaches to the tibia. It occurs in children and young adults who have most likely experienced micro trauma or overuse from repetitive kneeling, running, and jumping activities.

Children rarely complain about back pain, but if it persists, restricts activities, or interrupts sleep, it is a concern that should be considered seriously. After a chiropractor has ruled out serious issues, you may find that the child’s complaints are due to soft tissue injuries, overuse syndromes, or postural issues.

 The role of  chiropractors is crucial in preventing injuries in children.  Dr. Erik is very familiar with the treatment of child injuries and treats children on a daily basis.  As your child begins participation in activities, Dr. Erik can offer guidelines on exercise, conditioning techniques, nutrition, and general fitness. Of course, when treatment is needed, Dr. Erik is fully equipped to manage your child’s injury.  Although the treatment of sports injuries has been a basic approach in chiropractic since its beginning, there is now a specialty (chiropractic sports physician) devoted to the care and handling of athletes and their injuries. In cases that require further treatment i.e. if there is a fracture, Dr. Erik will make a referral to the appropriate specialist.