Sports—one of man’s greatest creations. It’s a powerful avenue that breaks barriers and makes people feel good about themselves, both physically and mentally. The peaceful competitions also unify people all around the world. Sports have numerous proven benefits for children as well, as it helps them develop physical skills, boosts their self-esteem, and help them relate better with their peers.
However, with all these benefits for your child come some risks as well. According to stopsportsinjuries.org, approximately 30 million kids play organized sports annually, resulting in over 3.5 million sporting injuries. It’s no wonder that sports injuries are the second leading cause of emergency room visits and the leading cause of injuries in schools.
Youths sports injuries and pain are sometimes unavoidable in a young athlete’s life. However, the way it’s handled determines the child’s rate of recovery and their overall wellbeing. With this in mind, parents must learn about ways to handle sports-related pain effectively.
Here are six things to do if your child has sports-related pains:
Get A Proper Diagnosis
The first thing to do once you notice your child has sport-related pains is to ascertain its cause. Pain may come due to muscle overuse, tears, sprains, concussions, broken bones, and other injuries.
People make the mistake of assuming the cause of the pain, thereby using the wrong treatment method. Even if you’re certain that the pain is a sports-related one, you still need to know the type of pain it is and what exactly is causing it. You should seek the help of qualified area doctors for you to know the exact cause of the pain to avoid using the wrong treatment and exposing your child to even more danger.
Do Not Ignore The Pain
Sports play an important role in a child’s learning and development, this is why it’s necessary to make getting the right treatment and recovery a priority in the event of an injury. Once you can ascertain the cause of the pain, it’s important to commence treatment immediately. Don’t allow your child to continue using the affected area to avoid aggravating the injury.
If the pain isn’t attended to on time, it could have long-term negative effects on the child’s physical and mental wellbeing. Even when you notice that the pain isn’t too severe, it’s still necessary to keep your child from using the area to play. It’s your duty to make them understand that they have to rest a little in the meantime while you treat the affected area.
Try The R.I.C.E Method
The R.I.C.E method is simply an acronym for rest, ice, compression, and elevation. Follow the steps below to perform the R.I.C.E method on your child:
- Rest: Don’t allow your child to continue playing with the affected area until a doctor has seen it. In the case of sprains, allow your child to lie down in a comfortable position and limit their movements so the pain doesn’t get worse than it already is.
- Ice: Apply ice to the affected area to reduce the swelling. You should always apply ice to the injured area for 15-20 minutes several times for the first 48-72 hours after you notice the pain. Keep in mind that you shouldn’t allow your child to sleep with ice on the affected spot.
- Compression: Use an elastic wrap to reduce the swelling. Take note to leave the toes or fingers open and loosen the wrap should you notice any discoloration on the affected area.
- Elevation: Prop the injured area higher than the heart to reduce swelling.
Encourage Your Child
Your support is very crucial if you want your child to handle the pain better and heal faster. Talk to them and empathize with them. It’s only normal for your child to feel low or even angry due to the pain. Now is the time to show much love and support, and let them know you’re with them.
They might not have to abandon the sport if the injury is superficial; you can encourage them to sit on the bench and watch their team play. You can also help distract them from the pain by helping them pursue other interests that they can participate in while recovering from the pain or injury.
It’s also advisable to use medication to relieve the pain if it isn’t too severe. However, avoid using high prescription painkillers.
It’s better to use nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as Ibuprofen or aspirins than high prescription painkillers. You should only use medication prescribed by a doctor to avoid the risk of your child developing other complications as a result of using a particular drug.
Try Combination Therapy
It’s better to combine different treatment options to achieve good and speedy relief from pains that are sports-related. This can include physical therapy to strengthen muscles, using compression braces, anti-inflammatory medications, or nerve blocks to reduce swelling.
Sports-related pains are almost inevitable for active children. What matters most is how swift and effectively you respond to it. Following the tips above should help you soothe your child’s pain and get them back into their favorite sport in no time.