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Believe it or not, sports injuries are the second leading cause of emergency room visits for children and adolescents, and the second leading cause of injuries in school. Millions of children are seen in hospital emergency rooms for sports-related injuries, and even more, are seen by their primary care physician or a sports medicine clinic for injuries. This is attributable to the fact that young athletes often begin their competitive sports careers as early as age seven, with some youth participating in organized sports activities as early as age four.
A child can endure many different injuries when playing a sport and understanding how to prevent them is crucial to your child’s longevity. Our country’s obsession with sports—football, basketball, and baseball being the most popular, plays a major role in why kids start playing them so young. Even though sports teach many great life lessons such as accountability, being a team player, and hard work, there are still a plethora of injuries your child may face, which is why it’s so important to be as informed as you can.
The first step toward preventing sports-related injuries is understanding how they happen. There are plenty of reasons why they occur, but the most popular reasons are due to poor equipment and technique, overuse, lack of instruction, or simply bad luck! Of course, you can’t anticipate every injury, and some are simply unavoidable, however, your child can reduce their risk of hurting themselves by practicing safe methods of playing.
Injuries can happen anywhere there are bodies in motion. However, some youth sports involve a higher degree of impact than others, including football, rugby, and hockey. Basketball, and soccer. These sports require athletes to run fast, tackle, and sometimes even collide straight into one another. From the outside looking in, this is a recipe for disaster, but sports require great strength and at times violence which makes it all the more important to be as safe as possible.
The truth is no sport or activity is 100% safe. And beyond the ice, injuries can also happen at the playground as well as on the surfboard or skatepark. However, with the right equipment, coaching and technique, your kids can still have fun while playing safe!
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, children have more than 3.5 million sports injuries each year. All sports carry a risk of injury and while there are steps you can take to prevent sports injuries; these common injuries may still occur.
Sports injuries in children can often be treated with Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation (RICE). However, sometimes you should see an orthopedic specialist. If your child experiences one of the following injuries and has symptoms that don’t resolve with home treatment, see your healthcare provider.
One of the most common sports injuries in children is ankle sprains. Ankle sprains occur when the ligaments that support the ankle stretch and tear. This can happen in sports like basketball, tennis, soccer, and football that require cutting or twisting actions. Ankle sprains cause pain, tenderness, swelling, bruising, and instability of the ankle. Most sprains are minor injuries that heal with the RICE protocol, but sometimes they require treatment by an orthopedic specialist.
The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of the major ligaments that stabilize the knee joint. It connects the femur to the tibia. An ACL tear can occur due to a blow to the outside of the knee or without impact after a jump or twist. ACL tears are most common in kids that play basketball, volleyball, tennis, and soccer. An ACL tear causes pain, swelling, and limited movement in the knee.
Osgood-Schlatter is another type of knee pain that is different from an ACL tear. It is a traction injury (also known as a stretch injury) to a growth plate at the top of the shin bone called an apophysis. The injury is caused by tightness in the muscles coupled with high activity levels. The injury may present with pain and swelling or a bump at the bottom of the knee.
Little league elbow is caused by repetitive stress to the growth place located on the inside of a child’s elbow, resulting in pain and tenderness. It is common among baseball and softball players in positions such as pitcher, catcher, infielder, and outfielder. It may occur in other sports where repetitive throwing is required.
Like little league elbow, only it affects the shoulder and is caused by repetitive stress or micro trauma to the shoulder growth plate. This condition most commonly occurs among children between 11 and 14. As the name suggests, it is common in softball and baseball pitchers, but it can also occur in swimmers and tennis players.
Shin splints are common sports injuries in children that participate in sports that require repeated running on a hard surface. They can also be caused by overtraining at the beginning of the season without proper conditioning. Shin splints cause pain and discomfort in the front of the lower legs (the shins).
Spondylolysis is a stress fracture to the lumbar spine. A stress fracture occurs when a bone breaks after experiencing repeated stress from tension or compression. This injury usually occurs in the low back. It is most commonly seen in young athletes that participate in sports like gymnastics, tennis, rowing, weightlifter, and track and field.
Turf toe is the hyperextension of the big toe. It occurs when a young athlete pushes off the ground forcefully with the big toe being forced upward. The main symptom of these sports injuries in children is pain, but swelling may also be present.
Unfortunately, concussions are not uncommon sports injuries in children. They can occur in many sports as the result of a direct blow to the head. After such a direct hit, the child should be monitored for symptoms like headaches, blurred vision, dizziness, or confusion. While the treatment for most concussions is rest, all concussions should still be evaluated by a medical professional so they can recommend the proper treatment.
So, your child loves sports, all sports, and you are terrified that they are going to injure themselves. Rest assured, there are plenty of preventative measures you can take to ensure your child will be safe!
As your child learns about safe play, reinforce the good habits they’re discovering such as wearing proper safety equipment, following the rules, and getting adequate rest for their growing bodies. Talk to them about why those habits are important. Encourage them to make healthy habits a part of their daily life. The more support your child receives from their loved ones, the more they’ll feel motivated to do the right thing for their own health and wellness.
By communicating with your son or daughter’s coach, you can get a better idea of what your child is learning when it comes to technique and training methods. When you know what’s being taught in practice and on the field, you can help support healthy directions and be aware of common misconceptions that might be dangerous and lead to injury.
For both parents and coaches, mimicking good habits start with you. Whenever you participate in physical activities with your child, that being a pick-up game of basketball or a sprint around the neighborhood, teach your child the importance of warming up, cooling down, and proper stretching to avoid injury.
When the competitive drive takes hold, your child might start going all-out on exercising and practicing. It’s important to keep tabs to make sure that your kid’s workouts stay safe and reasonable. Healthcare professionals recommend at least one rest day per week and three months off from a sport each year. Talk to your child about the advantages of balance and control that can lead to physical and mental health setbacks.
Physical activity can greatly improve your child’s mental health, as long as it’s done in a safe and balanced approach. But watch out for issues like stress. The anxiety of an intensely competitive environment can negatively impact your child both on and off the court. You as the parent should provide healthy support and encouragement as well as understanding and guidance when times are rough.
Early recognition and treatment of injuries are key in returning athletes to their sport safely and promptly. Any injury that involves swelling, deformity, and/or loss of normal function should be seen by a physician immediately while all other injuries that appear to be minor should resolve themselves within a few days. With that being said, if the injury does not heal on its own, and your child is not back to full participation without pain, it is best to have him/her evaluated by a medical professional. Lingering injuries that go untreated can turn into chronic problems that require a much longer time away from the sport to allow the injury to heal properly.
Even though there are many injuries your child can sustain while playing their favorite sport, the risk-reward factor is worth it. Your child will build life-long relationships and skills that will teach them the ever-important value of teamwork and competition. Sports are an amazing way for kids to mature and prepare themselves for the real world, but if they do find themselves with a sports-related injury, Chai Care will always have your back!
* Legal disclaimer: The content of this article and the entire Chai Care blog is for educational purposes only; it does NOT constitute medical advice and must not be considered as such. Please consult a medical professional regarding any symptoms or health concerns you or your loved ones.Jan 10, 2023
It is no secret that men take great pride in being perceived as tough. What does this mean? Providing for their family, being mentally strong, and being confident—adult men put immense pressure on themselves to be the best versions of themselves but ironically, are not willing to do as much as they should.
According to leading experts, most men avoid going to the doctor. As silly as it may sound, these men would rather silently suffer or choose to believe that they can figure it out on their own, rather than taking a simple visit to a doctor. This is not only an unhealthy approach but is also not necessary. It is counter-productive to not utilize healthcare providers and physicians who can help supply proactive information on how to live a healthy lifestyle. It’s important to stay informed to live your best overall life – whether that be nutrition, exercise, or mental health.
Believe it or not, men die on average five years earlier than women. This may be due to the fact that men are typically more dangerous and bolder in their decision-making. This isn’t to say that taking a risk is a bad thing, just that men tend to neglect their health and at times ignore their own well-being, telling themselves they will eventually figure it out. However, the top three causes of death for men are (in order), heart (cardiovascular) disease, cancer, and unintentional injury. Besides suffering from an unintentional injury, this is crucial to know because if you monitor your health and make thoughtful decisions, the chances of you living a longer and healthier life drastically increase.
On the bright side, once these facts come to light, one can start their journey to recovery and begin to get their health back on track. Those modifications can come through proper diet, simple lifestyle changes, and if necessary, medical or surgical intervention. There is a great opportunity to improve lifestyle habits in many men. In the United States alone, men self-report numerous risk factors for poor health, which include smoking, obesity, binge alcohol drinking, and not exercising. Improvements in these areas will add years on to a man’s life and will improve mental health as well. Furthermore, social factors that may have a negative impact on health are serving in the armed forces, incarceration, and high-risk jobs such as construction, mining, and shipping. Men should be counseled about the potential employment-related hazards they may encounter in these and other jobs.
The simplest and best thing a man can do for themselves is eating clean. Yes, we all love a greasy cheeseburger and an ice-cold beer but in the long run, the key to a healthy lifestyle is feeding yourself food that your body actually wants!
There is a reason why you feel groggy and sluggish after a fat-filled dinner—it’s your body rejecting it and telling you that it would rather have something else. There is always going to be a certain vegetable or protein that you don’t want to eat. The great thing is we now live in a world where there is essentially an alternative to everything, allowing you to still indulge in your favorite guilty pleasures.
Dieting isn’t easy and for most men, it can be an excruciating battle. It’s hard to say no to a slice of pizza and not engage in “Taco Tuesday,” but when you lack good health, everything else suffers. Those extra calories are going to slow you down, you will have a harder time concentrating, and will even make you grumpy.
The key is to reward yourself, but only if you put in the work. There is nothing wrong with having a soda or eating a dozen chicken wings as you watch a football game, but doing this every day, that’s where you’re going to run into trouble. Most of your meals should consist of lean protein, organic vegetables, little carbs, and a lot of water. Boring? Of course, it is! But the results will have you feeling energetic and ready to take on the world.
A good strategy to take is setting a day where you know that you are going to want to lounge around all day and binge on your favorite foods—typically on the weekend. Life is meant to be enjoyed and part of the many pleasures we experience comes from a tasty meal. As good as it would be to eat these sugar-filled treats and salty snacks, the hard truth is that it is simply not doable. Setting a day where you do treat yourself will not only allow you to munch on your favorite foods, but it will also help teach the valuable lesson of discipline.
For some, clean eating is the tricky part and for others it is exercise. In today’s fast-paced world filled with social media and ten-second video clips, it is easy to feel uninspired when you check your phone only to witness how hard someone else is working which in turn will make you feel as if you are falling behind. There is no point in comparing yourself to how hard or little someone else works because they aren’t you and are not going through the same trials and tribulations. It’s best to stay in your own lane and figure out what works best for you.
Whether you enjoy working out in the gym or at home, the key is to just do it (Nike has a point)!. It’s so easy to say that you’ll start tomorrow. Tomorrow then becomes the weekend, that becomes next Tuesday, then suddenly, a month goes by, and you haven’t exercised a single day. No one expects you to work out like a professional athlete. Whether it be walking around the block for 30 minutes a day, or signing up for CrossFit, exercise is not only great for your body but your mind too. This is a time to be alone with your thoughts and listen to your favorite band or podcast, all the while giving your body what it truly needs.
Even though social media can be a distraction, it is also an amazing place to find information. Nowadays, you don’t even need a personal trainer because, with a few flicks of your thumb, you can find an expert who can give you quick and reliable information on how to get in shape. The best part is a lot of these people create exercises that you can do right from the comfort of your home!
No one said dieting and eating healthy is easy, but that is why it is so rewarding. It is a testament to yourself, a way of proving that through hard work and dedication, you can accomplish something that most men struggle with. The key is to be consistent and not allow yourself to fall victim to your guilty pleasures. There are many ways to stay active without “exercising.” Playing sports with your friends, taking long walks, and even certain interactive video games are awesome ways of being active without the intimidating need to enter a gym. Even though junk food and certain fast food options may seem more affordable, there are simple ways to eat clean without breaking the bank.
Getting started is difficult, but in the end, this journey is worth it. You will feel better, be a kinder person, and will drastically increase your health so you can spend more time with your loved ones. The time for excuses is over. No more saying tomorrow or that you are too busy. Look, we’re all busy and all have other things going on in our lives, but fortunately, the staff at Chai Care can supply you with healthy tips and methods on how to get your life back on track!
* Legal disclaimer: The content of this article and the entire Chai Care blog is for educational purposes only; it does NOT constitute medical advice and must not be considered as such. Please consult a medical professional regarding any symptoms or health concerns you or your loved ones.Nov 02, 2022
For most people, apologizing is no easy task. Sometimes you may not even feel that you are wrong but choose to apologize just to keep the peace. The truth is telling someone that you are sorry is healthy for the mind, body, and soul. It’s a way to cleanse yourself of ego and self-manufactured pride and can literally make you a healthier person!
We’ve all had a huge fight with a friend. Whether you’re right or they are, no one feels good. Then comes the waiting game. Who is going to apologize to who? You find yourself in a game of chicken, anticipating a long, heartfelt apology but it never comes. The more you wait, the more tension builds.
If you’re like me, you start to begin feeling ill. This tension takes a toll not just on your mental health but on your physical health too.
It’s been weeks since the two of you have spoken and this pointless fight is now beginning to have real-world consequences. You’re having a difficult time getting out of bed in the morning, your old habits are now pointless and maybe even are abusing drugs and alcohol. That tension you originally felt has mutated into a rage monster and an apology will no longer suffice. All over what? A stupid little argument that you can’t even remember.
Yes, this is a situation that I went through years ago and deeply regret but was also an amazing learning experience. Even though that friend and I never forgave one another, I made a personal vow to myself that I would never do anything like that ever again. Not a single positive thing came from not apologizing and in fact, only made me worse for it. It may sound crazy but learning the ability to admit guilt and apologize for my wrongdoings has not only made me a happier person but a healthier one too.
There’s nothing worse than a disingenuous apology. These empty words feel more like a slap in the face than an admission of guilt and it is crucial to mean what you say and say what you mean. This person that you’re trying to make up with is a friend or a loved one which means they know when you are BS’ing them or not. If they get even a whiff of sarcasm or that you are in some way patronizing them, good luck because you’ll be sleeping on the couch that night.
Before you rush to apologize, a lazy way to get yourself off the hook, really listen to what the person is telling you. More likely than not, what they are saying can really benefit you. Whether they don’t appreciate your sudden burst of anger or your unhealthy lifestyle, this is a moment to not only say sorry but have a moment of reflection. This person cares and wants the best for you so don’t neglect their advice.
Outside of apologizing to others, many people (including myself) have a hard time absorbing an apology. Whether this is from childhood trauma or a manipulative relationship, it’s crucial to understand that this incident took place in the past and this person really cares about you. It’s extremely unhealthy for not just the relationship but your own mental health to let past experiences trickle into your current life. This isn’t to say you shouldn’t use past events to help navigate you through current situations, it just means you can’t let them control you.
Sometimes it really isn’t your fault. You make a genuine apology and listen to what the other person has to say and for some unexplainable reason, they don’t accept your words to be true. There’s no rhyme or reason to it so there’s no need to try and make sense of it because this person had already made up their mind before a single word left your mouth. Even though it’ll sting, this is another important lesson—how not to handle an apology. If someone isn’t emotionally mature enough to care when someone is being vulnerable and really trying to make amends, maybe it’s time to cut ties.
At the end of the day, no one likes to fight. Well, maybe the people who compete in the UFC do but that’s a different story. When you truly care about someone, expressing how you feel and swallowing your pride is worth it and will only make you an overall better person. Even those times when you feel that you have done nothing wrong, listen to what is being said to you because there will most likely be some wisdom to gain.
* Legal disclaimer: The content of this article and the entire Chai Care blog is for educational purposes only; it does NOT constitute medical advice and must not be considered as such. Please consult a medical professional regarding any symptoms or health concerns you or your loved ones.