Parents, you’ve seen it before. Kids are running around outside, playing sports, and all of a sudden, disaster strikes in the form of a sprained ankle, a bruised elbow, or a torn knee ligament.
Sports injuries are common for kids of all ages. They happen, and there’s no way to avoid them. So, it’s helpful for parents to learn how to properly manage injuries to promote healthy healing and accelerated recovery times.
How to jump-start your child’s recovery
There are a variety of injuries children face when playing sports. Some are traumatic, and some are from overuse. The experts at ExpressCare Urgent Care Centers can treat your severe cases. You can cure less severe cases in the comfort of your home using these simple first-aid tips.
- R.I.C.E. You’ve probably heard of R.I.C.E. before, but what does it mean?
R.I.C.E. stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation. Ice is an effective treatment method for swelling for the first 24-72 hours.
Compression and elevation are also vital. When an ankle sprain or bruise happens, wrapping the area with an elastic bandage can help lessen the severity by preventing blood vessels from leaking. Elevation will help to keep blood from pooling in the affected area, and rest will reduce the risk for further trauma and damage. Utilize these four methods of treatment immediately following an injury to help reduce the time of recovery!
- Ibuprofen. This over-the-counter medicine is an excellent relief for both pain and swelling. While parents should use sparingly, it’s perfectly safe for children when taken correctly.
- Clean the wound. If there is an open wound at the site of injury, you want to make sure it isn’t deep enough to warrant a trip to the hospital. If it is small enough to treat at home, be sure to clean the site out with an antibacterial soap. Once the area is free of dirt, dried blood, and other grime, coat the skin with Neosporin and cover with a Band-Aid.
Preventative treatment to stop injuries before they happen
Parents can also take steps to better the chances of preventing damage altogether.
- Help them build muscle. If children are going to play sports, they must have the strength to do so. Personal trainers that specialize in working with kids can help your child build their resistance and improve their physical performance.
- Use proper technique. This goes for training both on and off the field. Child athletes must use proper form when they go to tackle someone, juke another player out, pitch a baseball, and even lift a weight. Taking the time to teach appropriate mechanics can go a long way to bettering their health.
- Hydrate. Kids like soda, not water. But if they’re going to play sports, they’re going to need to drink quality liquids.
Keeping hydrated can improve muscle function and blood circulation, which are both critical—especially for high-intensity and hot environments. Remaining hydrated during practice and games can also help to prevent heat strokes, which seem to be relatively prevalent in child and student-athletes.