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Sports injuries in children

Sports injuries in children

Physical activity and sports are important for a child’s healthy growth. Playing sports make sure there is good motor skill development and maintenance of the right weight with proper vision. But with sports, injuries are also unavoidable. For instance, in contact sports, there is a chance of physical contact with other players due to collisions. In sports such as basketball and football, there is a high rate of injury compared to non-contact sports such as running and swimming.

Sports injuries in children are categorized into three different kinds: acute injuries, overuse injuries and re-injuries.

Acute sports injuries in children

This kind of injury in children occurs mainly because of some trauma. In young children, such sports injuries include minor bruises, strains and sprains. Among teenagers, injuries are more likely to be severe, which include broken bones, concussions, eye injuries, skull fractures, blood in eyes, etc.

Overuse sports injuries

These kinds of injuries are caused because of repetitive actions that put a lot of stress on the muscles. Although such injuries are common in adults, they are more problematic in young kids as they can have an impact on their growth. Here are some of the common overuse sports injuries in children:

Knee overuse

It causes pain in the front part of the knee just under the kneecap. Here the knee sores and becomes swollen because of the inflammation of the tendon and cartilage. Usually, it is caused by muscle tightness in the quadriceps, which is one of the major muscle groups around your thigh.

Swimmer’s shoulder

Here the shoulder becomes inflamed or swells because of the consistent stress of overhead motions while swimming or ball throwing. The pain mainly starts erratically but might become a consistent pain in the back of your shoulder.

Tennis elbow

It is also caused because of repeated throwing action and results in elbow pain and tenderness. The capability to flex and spread your arm gets affected, but the pain is felt while throwing. Other than pain, throwers also complain of velocity loss or reduced endurance while playing.

Shin splint

In this kind of injury, the front part of the lower leg hurts and is caused by consistent running on any hard surface or due to overtraining.


 It is lower back pain that results from constant overextension, which puts stress on the bones of the lower back. It is commonly seen in kids who play soccer or practice gymnastics, wrestling and diving.


It occurs when an athlete returns to sport before the complete healing of the previous injury. Excess stress is put on the injury, which forces the body to recompense for the weakness, thereby putting the athlete at high risk of injuring other parts of the body. It’s recommended to allow the previous injury to heal properly and wait for the doctor’s approval before going back to sports. Allow your child to re-enter sports gradually.

Management of sports injuries in children

Treatment of sports injuries in children depends on their severity and the kind of injury. If the injury is severe, they must be immediately taken to the nearest medical center. For minor injuries, rest, ice application, compression and elevation are the best and effective.

Post injury it’s the responsibility of the parents and caregivers to make sure that the injury heals completely before the child goes back to sports.

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