In the news recently, there has been a lot of talk about the NFL’s failure to warn players about the dangers of concussions. This trend shows a lack of knowledge about common sports injuries that should be addressed.
All sports carry with them an inherent risk of injury, unfortunately, especially for children. According to government statistics, one in twenty children (under the age of 15) will end up in the ER with a sports-related injury this year. Some injuries are more serious than others, obviously, but it is especially important to pay attention to signs of brain injury, like headaches and memory loss.
Common sports injuries include:
- Repetitive motion injuries. Ever hear of tennis elbow? This is a type of repetitive motion injury, caused by the repeated use of one action and muscle group, or repeated stress on a bone or joint, which can cause stress fractures or tendonitis.
- Heat-related injuries. Make sure to drink plenty of water as dehydration, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke are all hazards. Parents, coaches, and trainers, should all educate their players about symptoms, which include: dizziness, nausea, fainting, etc.
- Sprains and strains. Sprains affect ligaments and strains affect muscles. Ankle sprains are among the most common injuries incurred.
- Growth-plate injuries. These are very dangerous in children because the tissue at the end of our longer bones, which hardens into bone as we get older, can affect bone growth in children and cause problems later in life.
How to prevent sports injuries:
- Make sure to wear the proper protective gear.
- Look for well-organized school and community teams, with coaches who are certified in First Aid and CPR.
- Make sure facilities are well-maintained.
- Drink sports drinks AND water to prevent dehydration (sports drinks contain lots of good nutrients and minerals).
- Stretch before and after training or practice.
How to treat injuries:
- Rest the injured area for 48 hours.
- Ice the affected area 4-8 times per day, for 20 minutes each.
- Compress the area with wraps, air casts, splints, etc. to reduce swelling and give support.
- Elevate the area above the heart.
Sometimes, after an injury, it is important to ask: Could this injury have been prevented? Like the NFL, coaches and trainers have an obligation to make sure those participating in sports are aware of the hazards. They have an obligation to protect athletes (within in reason, obviously, since the actions themselves are inherently risky). An athletic facility’s neglect of facilities, however, is a good example of where negligence comes into play. Like coaches, these facilities are responsible for making sure they are well-maintained to safety standards.
The expenses resulting from any injury incurred due to the negligence of another should be paid by the party with proven liability, which means filing a sports injury lawsuit. Keep in mind, though, that it can be difficult to prove negligence, but it will be worth it if the lawsuit prevents further injuries. Contact the attorneys at Shulman DuBois if you have any questions about Portland sport injuries.