Taking Precaution for Children During High-Intensity Sports and Play

In a digital era, these days parents are encouraging their children to play outdoors to help stay healthy, active and boost resilience. The flip side of this is that vigorous physical activities may trigger a fracture which is common in childhood.

Injuries caused by sports and high-intensity physical play are the common reasons that trigger fractures. Some of the more common sports that cause injuries include basketball, soccer, gymnastics, lacrosse, hockey and football. A fracture occurs when more force hits the bone than it can absorb. A fracture must be treated correctly to ensure children don’t run into problems in the future.

Forearm fractures are the most common fractures in children, responsible for up to 50 percent of all fractures, and are much more common than leg fractures. Other common fracture locations include the distal radius, elbow, clavicle and tibial shaft. While each child may experience a fracture differently, the most common symptoms are pain and swelling in the injured area, deformity, warmth, bruising, or redness in the injured area.

Fractures in children can heal well if the child is young and doesn’t have a medical history. But, since young bones are fragile and growing, a fracture can cause problems as the child grows. As such some fractures require surgery to stabilize growing bones, while others can be treated with immobilization or casting.

(Written by: Dr.Arkan Harb Alhuneiti, Consultant Pediatric Orthopedic & Spine Surgeon at Burjeel Hospital for Advanced Surgery)