As kids head into fall sports and outdoor activities, pediatric experts at OrthoONE bring you this quick guide to preventing injuries alongside tips to know what to do should a sprain, strain or shin splint pop up.
If you are concerned about any minor injury, you can visit the Denver OrthoONE Walk In Clinic or the Lone Tree OrthoONE Walk In Clinic. Both are open Monday - Friday, 8am – 12pm. Should you need immediate assistance, call 911 or visit your closest ER.
Symptoms: They may feel a pop or tear when the sprain, an injury to the ligament that connects and stabilizes joints occur. Pain, swelling and bruising often develop afterwards.
Situation: Your child falls or twists unexpectedly, gets hit on the knee, wrist, elbow or ankle.
Smart start: Use the RICE method – rest, ice, compression with an elastic bandage and elevation.
Signs to beware: If the swelling and pain are intense, if the joint is locked or unstable, or if your child can’t bear weight, take your child to the emergency department.
Symptoms: Strains are stretches or tears in muscles or tendons that connect muscles to bones. They cause pain, limited motion, swelling, cramping and muscle weakness.
Situation: Your child twists, pulls or overstresses a muscle, such as when throwing a ball or kicking a soccer ball.
Smart start: Reduce swelling and pain with ice and rest.
Signs to beware: If you child has pain in the neck or back, numbness or weakness runs down an arm or leg, or if there are changes in skin color, see a doctor.
Overuse injuries (including arm injury and shin splints)
Symptoms: Shin splints occur when muscles, tendons or the thin layers of tissue covering the shin bone become swollen over time. Pain strikes the front, lower leg.
Situation: Your young runner or hiker repeatedly stresses his or her legs by increasing time spent on the activity.
Smart start: Encourage two to four weeks of rest, followed by a gradual return to activity.
Sing to beware: If your child’s pain doesn’t subside after some time off, call a pediatric orthopedic specialist. This could be a sign of a stress fracture, a small crack in the bone that often requires crutches to heal.
Children, especially teens often experience significant growth in quick bursts. This can cause additional joint pain. Should you have concerns about your child’s pain, it may be helpful to seek advice from a pediatric orthopedic specialist, Athletic trainer or physical therapist who can identify options to ease the pain.