Light Snow   27.0F  |  Forecast »
Edit Module

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:
Edit Module
Edit Module
Advertisement
Edit Module

More »Latest Articles & Blog Posts

Green Bean Side Dish Ideas

Green Bean Side Dish Ideas

Go green with these yummy sides featuring kids' favorite beans. Check out these recipe ideas including mini green bean casseroles, lemony green beans and more.

Simple Sewing Holiday Tree Craft for Kids

Simple Sewing Holiday Tree Craft for Kids

Give your Christmas tree extra flair with this cute project that you can turn into an ornament or other decor. Teaches kids an easy running stitch, too.

Craft Review: Epson's LabelWorks Printable Ribbon Kit

Craft Review: Epson's LabelWorks Printable Ribbon Kit

This cool family crafting tool isn't just great for creating ordinary labels. It's also a handy holiday tool for gift wrapping and other creative DIY projects.

Make Cute Penguins with Candy Aisle Crafts Book

Make Cute Penguins with Candy Aisle Crafts Book

This delicious title features super creative, clever and easy crafts that southeast Michigan families can make with a simple trip to the grocery store.

Michigan Mitten Free Printable Greeting Card Craft

Michigan Mitten Free Printable Greeting Card Craft

Want to make the season bright, with a distinct dash of hometown flair? Our template is the perfect starting point for an easy, impressive card kids can make.

Meet Angelina, Metro Parent December 2014 CoverKid – VIDEO

Meet Angelina, Metro Parent December 2014 CoverKid – VIDEO

All bundled up and ready for winter, this 6-year-old Canton kid is ready to lead southeast Michigan to some fun events – and make you laugh out loud!

Elsa's Icy Braid: How to Create a Disney Princess Hairdo

Elsa's Icy Braid: How to Create a Disney Princess Hairdo

The super cool character has a signature hair look. Recreate it with this guide from the book Disney Frozen Hairstyles: Inspired by Anna and Elsa.

Edit Module
Advertisement
Edit Module
Advertisement
Edit Module
Advertisement