Childhood sports injuries

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Updated: 1/14/2003 1:29 pm Published: 1/14/2003 1:29 pm

Kids today are often involved in athletic activities and organized sports, which means a likelihood of injuring themselves. As a result, there are injuries that are particular to kids in sports, whether soccer, hockey, biking, skiing, horseback riding, or in-line skating. These can include injuries to the growth plates of the bone, broken bones, ankle sprains, skin splints, and heat stress. Make sure the child is wearing appropriate gear, such as mouth guards to protect teeth, helmets, knee pads, and elbow pads. Contact sports, such as football or hockey, should be postponed until age 14. Sports such as soccer or basketball that have the potential for physical contact may be intimidating for children under age eight. Boxing, which can lead to potential damage of the brain, should be avoided completely. If your child wants to participate in martial arts, make sure the emphasis is on building self-confidence and coordination, rather than on overcoming an opponent. A child's ability to avoid injury can be linked to the child's attitude toward a particular activity. The proper protective equipment should be available and be used at all times. Make sure coaches and trainers not only are competent, but also have the right attitude and aren't driven to win at all costs, even to the point of risking injury. Your child should like, and get along with, any instructor or coach.

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