4 Injuries to Watch for While Playing Outside

smiling kidsTo say that kids are active is a big understatement. Exploring the limits of their environment and physical abilities is the cornerstone of growing into an active, healthy adult. Injuries are sometimes an unfortunate side effect of this learning process, however.

Injuries to the bones are a common reason doctors of orthopedics for kids are consulted. Where an injury is concerned, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Here are four common injuries to watch for when your child is playing outside.

1. Sprains

Sprains in the ankle are the most common type of injury on both the playground and in athletics. Sprains are an injury to the ligament that connects the bones forming a joint. Although ankle sprains are the most common whether hiking, playing soccer or a game of tag, a sprain can occur in the ligaments attaching other joints such as a knee or shoulder sprain.

Children playing outside and participating in sports should always have an adult on hand to watch over them and respond in case of an accident.

2. Repetitive Motion Injuries

Repetitive motion injuries are more common in athletics and dance, where specific movements may be practiced often over an extended period of time. They’re fairly uncommon in free play. Bones and tendons subjected to overuse can make them more likely to experience tendonitis and inflammation.

3. Heat-Related Illness

Playing outdoors when it is hot and sunny can put children at risk for dehydration and heat exhaustion. In extreme cases, heat stroke can also occur in children when over-exerting themselves in a hot environment.

4. Growth Plate Injuries

Children’s bones grow thanks to the presence of growth plates at the ends of developing bones. As they grow, they harden into bone. An injury to the growth plates of any bone should be treated by a doctor or medical center specialized in orthopedics for kids.