Playing sports is part of most childhoods. Physical education first entered the school system in 1820 and became an official requirement by law by 1855. Sports and physical education are not only part of school curriculum, but about 30 million students are involved in an organized sport both in and out of school.
As kids head back to school this fall, many are about to get reengaged with sports programs and physical eduction. Here’s what you need to know about keeping your kids safe and what to do in the event of an unfortunate injury.
There are countless benefits associated with playing organized sports:
- Improved cognitive function
- Ability to work as a team
- Better physical strength and overall health
- Better time management skills, self-esteem, leadership abilities
- Likelihood for and active lifestyle in the long-run.
- Adolescents who play sports are 8x as likely to be active at age 24 (Sports Participation as Predictors of Participation in Sports and Physical Fitness Activities in Young Adulthood, Perkins, 2004) and only 3% of adults who play sports currently did not play when they were young (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation/Harvard University/NPR, 2015).
- Predictor for female career success
- A survey of 400 female corporate executives found 94% played a sport and that 61% say that has contributed to their career success (EY Women Athletes Business Network/espnW, 2014).
However, despite the innumerable benefits, there is also a stark connection between playing sports and injuries. There are more than 3.5 million injuries each year among children aged 14 and younger. Additionally, 2.6 million children between the ages of 0-19 are treated in the ER for sports related injuries (National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases).
While the size of these national numbers may be shocking, this reality is reflected by the concerns of individual parents across the country. For 9 out of 10 parents, chance of injury is extremely top of mind and is a bigger concern than issues such as poor coaching, cost, or time-commitment.
Luckily, most injuries fall under the “minor” category and most can be treated at home and at urgent care, saving you time and money that would otherwise be spent at the ER.
If your kid gets injured during a sports activity this year, here’s what you can do immediately post injury:
- RICE Method
- Rest: stay off your injured area and rest for at least 48 hours
- Ice: ice the injured area 4-8x per day for about 20 minutes
- Compression: ask your urgent care clinic or doctor about the best way to compress the injured area (splits, boots, casts, wraps, etc.)
- Elevation: elevate the injured area above heart level to help keep swelling down
- Stay out of heat (check out our heat exhaustion guide here)
- Drink plenty of water and rest
If symptoms do not go away after resting, you should see a medical professional as soon as possible. Urgent care is often the quickest, most convenient, and most affordable first step in treating sport injuries.
Some of the most common sports injuries treated at urgent care:
- Strains (such as groin pulls and hamstring strains)
- Pulled muscles
- Tennis Elbow
Injuries happen. Make sure that your children and their coaches are prioritizing warm-ups, cool-downs, and wearing supportive footwear and you’ll be on the right path to a safe routine!
Next time you or your child has an injury and needs to see a doctor quickly, you can save time and get better faster by booking with Solv.