Surprising Statistics Concerning Sport Related Injuries in Children
A new study published by the Royal Society of Medicine revealed almost 50% of sport injury-related trips to A&E are children and adolescents.
14-year old boys and 12-year old girls were the most at risk of sports injuries.
Researchers from Newcastle University and Oxford University NHS Trust investigated 11,676 A&E visits for sports injuries and found 10-14 year olds were most likely to be injured, followed closely by the 15-19-year age group.
The main sports involved in boys injuries requiring hospital treatment, were football, rugby union, and rugby league. For girls the main sports involved in injuries were trampolining, horse riding and netball.
Almost 25% of the injuries were fractures with the highest percentage being fractures to the upper limbs.
Rugby union was the sport most associated with head injuries and concussion in boys, whilst head injuries were common during horse riding for girls and both sports should be the focus of interventions, according to the report in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine.
Researchers suggested that football accounted for the most injuries, not because it was more dangerous but because it was more popular, with fewer children playing rugby union and rugby league.
As a result of this analysis there were calls to make some of these children’s activities safer. Including concerns over the safety of garden trampolines.
Researchers accepted the need for children to be physically active in the battle against childhood obesity, but suggested local authorities and schools target sports injury prevention at children in years 1-4 of secondary school.
The report also concluded that for younger children trampolines based at home need improved safety.
Bearing in mind the high possibility of incurring one of these injuries, it is prudent to learn how to help in such an emergency. Please find our expert first aid guide to sports injuries below:
Breaks and sprains:
Breaks and sprains are extremely common. The only way to know a bone is broken is to have an X-ray.?If you think you’ve broken a bone, seek medical help as soon as possible. If it’s a toe or finger that’s possibly broken, go to a?minor injury unit?or?urgent care centre.
BROKEN BONES: the key indicators someone may have broken something:
- Pain – it usually hurts
- The limb may be at an odd angle and have a wider range of movement than normal
- Swelling, bruising or a serious wound around the possible fracture site
- Deformity and irregularity – often limbs may be shortened, or the broken area could have lumps and bumps, depressions or stretched skin
- Crepitus – there could be a grinding sound caused by the end of bones rubbing against each other
Call an ambulance if:
- The casualty starts to show signs of shock
- There is a possibility that they have injured their spine or head
- They have any difficulty breathing or begin to lose consciousness
- It is an open fracture, with the bone through the skin
- If they lose feeling in the limb, the extremities are abnormally cold, or dramatically change colour
- You are unable to safely transport the casualty to hospital yourself keeping the limb stable and supported
- There is a suspected pelvic or hip fracture
- You are worried about them in any way.
For more information about when calling an ambulance, read this article.
Concussion is an injury to the brain that occurs during a collision when the brain is shaken within the skull. It usually only causes temporary damage. However repeated concussions have been linked to traumatic brain injury and brain damage. Consequently there is now clear guidance as to when to play on or return to play.
Signs and Symptoms:
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Applying a wrapped ice pack will reduce superficial bruising and swelling – but has no effect on any brain recovery.
Most symptoms resolve in 7-10 days. If someone rests appropriately following concussion they will nearly always make a full recovery. Repeated concussions, particularly in children are associated with long-term consequences and serious conditions.
Children and adolescents?may need 1-2 days off school and a gradual return to academic study. They can start light reading and small amounts of screen time. This should be monitored and stopped if there is a recurrence of symptoms.
At least 2 weeks with no training will give the brain a chance to fully recover. The earliest a child or adolescent can return to play is 23 days. If there are no symptoms players can then start the gradual return to play.
Crucial advice following a head injury:
- Don’t make things worse – important to take seriously and rest
- Do not risk injury again
- Rest your brain = lots of sleep, avoid reading, screens and sports for at least 24 hours / 48 hours
For more information about how to stay safe on sport days, we suggest you this article.
Written by Emma Hammett for First Aid for Life
It is strongly advised that you attend a fully regulated Practical or Online First Aid course to understand what to do in a medical emergency. Please visit https://firstaidforlife.org.uk or call 0208 675 4036 for more information about our courses.
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First Aid for life provides this information for guidance and it is not in any way a substitute for medical advice. First Aid for Life is not responsible or liable for any diagnosis made, or actions taken based on this information.