According to the Centers for Disease Control, nearly 2.6 million children under the age of 19 are treated for sports related injuries each year. Sports injuries are the leading cause of musculoskeletal injuries and the leading cause of visits to primary care physicians. August is back to school month in Tennessee and parents and coaches alike should take steps to protect children who are about to start playing everything from basketball to football at school.
Common Sports Injuries
Sprains & Strains – Sprains occur when the ligament is injured. The most common sprain is the ankle which can be injured during basketball, baseball, football, and any sport that involves running. Strains occur when the muscle or tendon is injured. These injuries can occur within any muscle in the body.
Growth Plate Injuries – These involve damage to areas of bone that are in the process of growing during adolescence. If the growth plate is injured, it can stunt growth, cause considerable pain and discomfort, and lead to permanent deformity.
Repetitive Motion Injuries – These occur due to inflammation of tendons, exacerbation of stress fractures, and overuse of muscles. They can occur with repeated use of rackets, while swinging baseball bats or throwing balls, or by performing other repetitive activities.
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) – TBI can occur in any sport, but is most common in contact sports such as football. Next to senior citizens, teenagers have the highest rates of traumatic brain injury. This is due in part to their participation in sporting activities. To help protect student athletes, the State of Tennessee passed legislation that helps protect children from concussions. These new laws require parents to sign concussion information forms and coaches to remove students from practice and the field of play if they are injured. They also require student athletes to be cleared by a healthcare professional prior to returning to practice or active play.
Prompt Treatment is Essential
While children are fairly resilient, that doesn’t mean they are indestructible. Any injury should be treated promptly by professionals who have the skills and experience to treat childhood sports injuries. Prompt treatment is essential for preventing long-term damage to bones, muscles, tendons, and ligaments.
Liability for Sports Injuries
A personal injury attorney in Tennessee can help pursue liability for a childhood sports injury. Liability can fall on the school or an individual player if the school or player is negligent, malicious, or willful in their actions.