Preventing High School Football Injuries: Play Smart
High school and college football is a cherished American tradition that brings communities together while nurturing qualities like teamwork and physical fitness in our youth. However, it’s essential for parents to understand the potential risks associated with this beloved sport. At Supreme Care ER, we are committed to ensuring the safety of young athletes on the field and providing swift, precise diagnosis and treatment when injuries occur. Together we can safeguard our young athletes and help prevent and protect them from football injuries.
At Supreme Care ER the finest emergency room in Cypress Texas near Jersey Village, we’re happy to provide you with the emergency care that you need in the event of a medical emergency.
Understanding the Statistics: High School and College Football Injuries
Before diving into the details, let’s take a moment to understand the bigger picture:
According to research recently presented by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons:
The most popular sport, football makes up 44% of all high school sports injuries.
The most common injuries were contusions at 35%, ligament strains at 15%, and only 4% sustained a concussion. Source: orthoinfo.aaos.org
While these statistics may not sound alarming, the reality is that a percentage of injuries can be severe and even result in permanent damage. For this reason, it’s important to shed light and educate the communities to help prevent any type of long-term consequence.
Common Football Injuries and Their Causes
Now, let’s examine some common football injuries, what they entail, and how they can occur:
A concussion is a traumatic brain injury resulting from a blow to the head or violent shaking of the head, causing the brain to move rapidly within the skull.
- Symptoms: Common symptoms include headache, confusion, dizziness, nausea, sensitivity to light or noise, and, in some cases, temporary loss of consciousness.
- Prevention: Encourage proper tackling techniques, ensure helmets fit correctly, and strictly enforce rules against helmet-to-helmet contact.
Sprains and Strains
Sprains involve the stretching or tearing of ligaments (tissues connecting bones), while strains affect muscles or tendons (tissues connecting muscles to bones).
- Symptoms: Symptoms may include swelling, pain, and restricted movement, varying in severity depending on the injury.
- Prevention: Promote regular conditioning, strength training, and flexibility exercises. Ensure your child warms up adequately before games and practices.
Fractures refer to breaks or cracks in bones. Common fractures in football can occur in the wrist, forearm, or other areas due to the physical nature of the sport.
- Symptoms: Symptoms typically include swelling, deformity, and severe pain at the site of the injury.
- Prevention: Ensure your child wears proper protective gear, including pads and helmets. Coaches should educate players on how to fall safely.
Shoulder injuries often involve damage to the shoulder joint, a ball-and-socket joint. These injuries can range from dislocations to strains and tears in the ligaments or tendons.
- Symptoms: Watch for pain, weakness, restricted range of motion, and, in severe cases, visible deformity of the shoulder.
- Prevention: Emphasize correct tackling techniques to reduce shoulder strain and ensure properly fitting shoulder pads.
Heat-related illnesses occur when the body’s cooling mechanisms are overwhelmed, often due to exertion in hot weather. These can range from heat exhaustion to heat stroke, with heat stroke being the most severe.
- Symptoms: Heat exhaustion symptoms include heavy sweating, weakness, nausea, and dizziness. Heat stroke symptoms include high body temperature, confusion, rapid pulse, and, in severe cases, loss of consciousness.
- Prevention: Promote proper hydration before and during games, scheduled breaks in hot weather, and vigilance for early signs of heat-related problems.
Overuse injuries result from repetitive stress on a specific body part without adequate time for recovery. In football, they can manifest as muscle strains, stress fractures, or tendonitis.
- Symptoms: Symptoms include gradual onset of pain, swelling, and limited range of motion in the affected area.
- Prevention: Encourage cross-training, vary workouts, and teach your child to listen to their body. Coaches should monitor for signs of overuse.
Warning Signs to go to the Emergency Room
While many football injuries can be managed with rest and rehabilitation, there are times when immediate medical attention is essential. If you observe any of the following signs or symptoms in your child, don’t hesitate to visit Supreme Care ER:
- Severe Pain: Intense and persistent pain, especially in the head, neck, shoulders, or limbs.
- Loss of Consciousness: Any loss of consciousness, even if brief.
- Confusion: Memory loss or disorientation following a blow to the head.
- Breathing Difficulty: Any sign of breathing difficulty or chest pain.
- Visible Swelling or Deformity: Signs of a fracture, dislocation, or severe joint injury.
- Severe Heat-Related Symptoms: High body temperature, confusion, rapid pulse, or loss of consciousness during hot weather.
Why Choose Supreme Care ER
At Supreme Care ER, we prioritize your child’s safety with 24/7 fast and precise diagnosis and treatment using advanced on-site imaging technology. Our experienced medical staff ensures a swift and safe recovery. Your child’s health is our top priority, both on and off the field.
At Supreme Care ER in Houston, the finest emergency room in Cypress, Texas, we’re happy to provide you with the emergency care you need in the event of a medical emergency. We are conveniently located at 9530 Jones Road, Houston, Texas, 77065. We’re fast and remain open 24 hours year-round.