Overcast   67.0F  |  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

Tips and Advice for Buying Glasses Online for Kids

Tips and Advice for Buying Glasses Online for Kids

Ever considered purchasing eyeglasses on the Internet for your child? A local optometrist offers insight into the process – and what to be cautious of.

Fruit Kiddy Cocktail Recipes from The Bird and The Bread

Fruit Kiddy Cocktail Recipes from The Bird and The Bread

Want to add a layer of fancy, not to mention healthy, to your kids' next snack or after-dinner dessert? Try these three recipes from the Birmingham restaurant.

Dick & Jane Baking Company Offers Smart After-School Snacks

Dick & Jane Baking Company Offers Smart After-School Snacks

A mom and dad team from Troy, Michigan teamed up to create wholesome, delicious cookies that teach kids state capitals, language, presidents and more.

Craft Roundup: Fabric Based Projects for Back-to-School Fun

Craft Roundup: Fabric Based Projects for Back-to-School Fun

Make some locker pencil cup holders, a seat belt cover, V-neck sweater vest and drawstring sleeping bag case to get kids excited about September.

Tips for Easing the New School Jitters

Tips for Easing the New School Jitters

Is your child attending a new school this year? Follow these five tips for making the transition easier.

Meet Yasmin, Metro Parent September 2014 CoverKid – VIDEO

Meet Yasmin, Metro Parent September 2014 CoverKid – VIDEO

Talk about a good sport! This 12-year-old Farmington Hills tween and England expat chatted about One Direction, her favorite sports and more.

Belightful Yoga Brings Classes to Kids, Special Needs Children

Belightful Yoga Brings Classes to Kids, Special Needs Children

A Royal Oak-based mobile yoga program delivers the benefits of this mind body practice to children and kids – especially special needs families.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement