As we send our children back to school in Houston this week and next, many of them will be returning to the routine of playing on sports teams. One of the most popular sports in the country is football; a recent survey by the National Federation of State High School Associations revealed that 1.1 million American high school boys play the game. While that is great news in a country where we often worry that our kids aren’t active enough, it could be a cause for parental concern because, out of all the high school sports our kids might choose, football has the highest overall injury rate.
In spite of all those splashy news stories about football and concussions, sports injuries to the ankle and knee are the most likely for your young athlete to incur while playing the game. Ankle sprains are particularly common injuries for football players, as they run across the field, quickly trying to advance the ball or dodge an oncoming tackle.
Coaches and parents are great at making sure more obvious injuries like fractures, dislocations and concussions are quickly and properly treated, but your young athlete may be tempted to ignore a so-called minor injury like a sprain, especially at the beginning of the season while he or she is trying to secure active playing time for the season.
Don’t make the mistake of allowing your son or daughter to play through an injury like an ankle sprain—left untreated, this could lead to permanent ankle or foot damage, even keeping kids from ever again playing the sports they love. If your child has a sports injury, come see me as soon as possible so I can help him or her get back on the field quickly and safely.