Mostly Cloudy   75.0F  |  Forecast »

Preventing Sports Injuries

Henry Ford doctor offers advice on protecting your kids at play

More American children are involved in sports now than ever before. Sports can help children and adolescents keep their bodies fit and feel good about themselves. However, children need to take proper safety precautions to prevent injury.

One of the best methods to prevent sports injury is wearing the proper safety gear for each sport. Helmets, which should meet U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission standards, are the most important safety gear of all.

Dr. Thankamani Krishnan, pediatrician at Henry Ford Medical Center-Royal Oak

"A helmet can prevent serious head injuries if worn properly," said Dr. Thankamani Krishnan, a pediatrician at Henry Ford Medical Center-Royal Oak. "Children do not consider bicycling, rollerblading, skateboarding, skiing or snowboarding as a sport. People do not think of unorganized sports as real sports."

But a bicycle or skateboarding injury can be just as serious as a football injury.

"When children play competitive sports, they have to follow rules like wearing the right safety gear, doing stretching exercises, taking breaks, and using the proper techniques," Dr. Krishnan said.

Knee and ankle sprains, torn ligaments, cuts and bruises are often the results of sports mishaps. But head injuries are becoming more common, and Dr. Krishnan said she sees a lot of patients who come in with mild anterior head injury. A cerebral concussion is a mild form of traumatic brain injury. Common symptoms of concussion include headache, vomiting, dizziness, confusion or even amnesia. Loss of consciousness does not always occur. Concussions are considered a closed-head injury, but are usually not considered life-threatening. They don't include structural injury to the brain.

A CT Scan of the brain should be performed when there is any concern about a serious brain injury, or if there is any of the following signs or symptoms: prolonged loss of consciousness, persistent confusion, repeated episodes of vomiting, a worsening headache, lethargy, irritability or decreased alertness, seizures or any neurological abnormality.

If a patient suffers a concussion, the doctor usually advises the patient to refrain from sports until the patient is asymptomatic for one week. If a patient suffers multiple concussions, the child should not play the sport for the rest of the season.

"I tell them they have to keep their brain healthy, so that they can play during the next season," Dr. Krishnan said. "Premature return to play by a symptomatic athlete places the child at a greater risk for another injury with serious complications."

Any child who is suspected of having a concussion should be removed from play and monitored.

As a warning to children who resist wearing a helmet, Dr.Krishnan cited one of her more serious cases: "I had a patient who was a varsity football player who could not play any contact sport because of a serious head injury sustained while riding his bike without a helmet."

Dr. Krishnan graduated from the Trivandrum Medical College in Kerala, India. Her residency included one year of psychiatrics and three years of pediatrics. She has worked at Henry Ford Health System for 23 years.

To make an appointment with a Henry Ford pediatrician in your area, log on to henryford.com or call 1-800-HENRYFORD.

Add your comment:
Advertisement

More »Latest Articles & Blog Posts

Easy Lunch Wraps for School Lunches

Easy Lunch Wraps for School Lunches

Skip the bread and use tortillas to make one of these recipes for your kid's lunchbox.

Egg-Freezing Parties for Career Women Not Ready to be Moms

Egg-Freezing Parties for Career Women Not Ready to be Moms

Company EggBanxx just took fertility awareness to a new level, complete with cocktails and swank. Will the trend help? Will it stick? Or is this all a bit much?

AHA Arts Clear-Cling Stamps Are Fun for Paper Crafts

AHA Arts Clear-Cling Stamps Are Fun for Paper Crafts

For a creative, offbeat alternative to woodblock stamping, try these cool tools that add a great look to your DIY projects. Buy them here in southeast Michigan.

Craft Roundup: Small Projects to Make with Washi Tape, Confetti, More

Craft Roundup: Small Projects to Make with Washi Tape, Confetti, More

Tiny stuff is terrific! This roundup of DIY fun from various blogs shows you how to make matchbook notebooks, gift bags, stickers and bitty butterflies.

Frustrated Mom Creates App to Stop Teens from Ignoring Calls

Frustrated Mom Creates App to Stop Teens from Ignoring Calls

One mother got sick of her kids blowing off her phone calls, so she created an app to make it impossible. Stroke of genius – or an overstep of parental bounds?

Ice Cream Sandwich Recipes

Ice Cream Sandwich Recipes

Combine ice cream with cookies and you've got the perfect dessert combination. Whip up one of these cool treats with the kids!

Vintage Summer Pins Made from Old Belt Buckles

Vintage Summer Pins Made from Old Belt Buckles

A perfect summer craft, this DIY project is centered around used plastic accessories, which are cheap finds at garage sales and thrift stores.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement