Whilst concussion is the most common injury for children during the winter sport season other injuries can include tendon problems, ankle sprains, and knee pain. Winter sports often pose the biggest risks with soccer, AFL and rugby all sports that require lots of jumping and change of direction.
When we add the forced down time of COVID-19 to the mix – we have been left with the perfect storm for a barrage of injuries to be hitting our doors about 4 weeks after sports resume again.
We’d like to keep you away from the Physio and your kids injury free and enjoying being back doing what they love. It would be the worst if they had to stop playing and have time off due to injury once they return.
Kids also bump into each other a lot! Injuries due to contact and collision make up 85% of the injuries to kids. This is just part of sport and apart from major rule changes, can’t often be avoided.
Strains, sprains and bruising can account for 25%
Knees get the next best workout with 12% of injuries
And Shoulders 6%.
What can you do to help prevent injuries?
1. Monitor load
It is important to understand what your child’s body can handle. Every child is different and will be affected by things such as growing, stage of schooling and other life stresses. And guess what – your genetics! Don’t compare with other kids. What’s best for Johnny, may not be best for Tom.
Periods of rest actually cause more harm than periods of increased activity, which is why COVID-19 poses such a risk to all of our sports players – both young and old. If they haven’t been doing as much activity as usual then you’ll need to start building back up to what they need to be doing when they start to train and play. Even the fact they aren’t racing around with their mates in the playground for 2 hours a day like they do at school will mean they aren’t completing their normal levels of physical activity.
2. Engage your child or their team in injury prevention exercises
There are standardised injury prevention programs for soccer, netball, AFL and rugby. BUT you have to actually do them for them to work!
They have great evidence to back up their effectiveness and have been shown to prevent 50% of soft tissue injuries such as ACL ruptures. They tend to focus on mobility, correct movement patterns, strength and skills. They are also a heap of fun, will teach you new skills and even better will help your child improve your playing ability.
For netball: KNEE program
For soccer: FIFA 11+
For AFL: Footy First or Prep to play
3. Report injuries and pain as soon as possible
This will assist with the injuries being properly dealt with and hopefully reducing the need for time away from sport. If you catch an injury early, this often results in earlier return to sport.
If you’d like one of our Physios to help your child and give you both some solutions to either help or prevent any of these injuries this winter sport season, please make an appointment today. Now is the right time to address this.