Little League Sports Injuries

Little League Sports Injuries

Spring is a fun time of year for kids, especially for those who play sports. While Little League and sports injuries go hand-in-hand, safe practices will keep your athlete playing all year long.

Warmer weather and sunny skies make spring the perfect season for recreational sports. Little league sports help teach children the importance of teamwork, motivation and positive self-esteem. But if not careful, engaging in little league games can lead to a sports related injury. Knowing the risks of sports related injuries is the first step towards prevention.

Types of Sports Injuries

Acute injury. These are injuries which happen suddenly.  Younger children are prone to receiving minor cuts, scrapes and bruises; more traumatic injuries occur mostly in older children and teens. These injuries range in severity from sprains to bone fractures, and can ruin a season.

Severe acute injury. These types of injuries can occur at any age, and include scratched corneas, head injuries, brain hemorrhages, broken bones and spinal cord injuries. They can range in severity and may lead to permanent damage.

WebMD suggests that concussions recently have elevated concerns in parents because they seem to be happening more frequently. Concussions occur more in football than any other sport, and the symptoms can sometimes be misinterpreted at first onset.

Warning signs for a possible concussion include headaches, confusion, dizziness, slurred speech, numbness, loss of memory and mood changes.

Overuse Injuries

An overuse injury is exactly that: an overuse or overworking of a particular muscle or joint. Too much stress is applied to the affected area due to repetitive physical action. Injuries such as these tend to reoccur depending on length of overuse, and can have a negative impact on bone development in children.

Common little league overuse injuries include:

  • Little league shoulder. Rotational stress caused by throwing a ball, and can lead to fracture in the upper arm, or tension in the shoulder.
  • Little league elbow. Severe pain increases in the elbow with each throw due to excessive arm acceleration.
  • Ankle sprains. Incorrect sliding techniques – such as in baseball – can lead to sprains.
  • Spondylolysis. This is a painful back condition resulting from excessive and improper overextension, which puts excessive stress on the lower back. It is commonly associated with sports such as football, wrestling and weight lifting.

Re-injuries

When a Little Leaguer doesn’t allow enough time for an original sports injury to heal, a re-injury is the result. These types of injuries can often be more painful than the first, and may even last for longer periods of time.

If the injury is not fully recovered, young athletes force additional stress upon the injury and require the body to compensate with another physical action. This can not only cause re-injury, but puts children in danger of additional injury.

Causes Of Sports Injuries

Little League sports injuries can be caused by many things. Acute injuries are sudden and can happen even by accident. Other injuries, such as re-injury, happen when the body is put to work before a full recovery. In many cases, sports injuries involve lack of preventive equipment, overuse or improper technique.

Treatment For Sports Injuries

  • R.I.C.E. Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation is an effective method for treating acute injuries and sprains. By minimizing use of the injured area, the body can focus more on recovery. Ice prevents swelling and compression helps the injury heal faster. Finally, elevating the injury above the heart reduces throbbing and internal bleeding. It also helps prevent bruising.
  • Medical attention. If there is any concern at all, especially regarding a brain injury or concussion, it is important to be mindful of the symptoms and be on alert for the signs. When symptoms of a brain injury or concussion are present, seek medical attention immediately. Take potential brain injuries seriously, as they can lead to permanent damage if left untreated.
  • Recovery. Children should not participate in any strenuous physical activity until fully recovered to eliminate any further injury. Putting stress on an existing injury prevents healing and can lead to longer lasting pain – or permanent damage.  

Prevention of Sports injuries

There are two important things to remember before every sports season. First, have the right equipment and wear it correctly. Helmets do prevent brain injuries and proper body padding prevents fractures, bruising and internal bleeding. Cleats keep feet sturdy in the ground when running and prevent slipping or ankle injuries. Second, practice regularly. This not only makes for a safer season, it also creates a better athlete.

If your child is injured while playing Little League Sports, or just while playing in the neighborhood, The Emergency Center is equipped to help diagnose and treat the injury. Visit one of The Emergency Center’s convenient 24-hour locations in Arlington, Fort Worth, and San Antonio.