Tips for Keeping Your Kids Safe from Hand and Arm Injuries this Spring
After a very long Winter, Spring is finally here! Warmer days and the lifting of many Covid-19 re-strictions mean spring sports and other activities are starting to pick back up. Here are some tips for keeping your kids safe as they ease back into their favorite activities.
The playground is the perfect place for kids to burn off some energy, but it also presents an increased risk of hand, wrist, arm, el-bow, and shoulder injuries. According to the National Program for Playground Safety, 80% of playground injuries are caused by falls, so make sure to supervise young children on climbing equipment like monkey bars and rock walls. It is recommended that the area where a child might fall have a protective surfacing extending at least six feet in all directions. Protective surfacing can be made of wood chips, mulch, sand, pea gravel, shredded tires, or rubber mats. Parents can also encourage their kids to play on swings and slides and teach them a few games that do not involve climbing equipment.
Musicians of all ages have relied on creativity this past year by connecting to others online and holding virtual and outdoor practice sessions and concerts. With hours of playing—whether to a computer screen or a packed concert hall–the risk of injury and overuse is the same. Nerve injuries in the hands, shoulders and neck are common due to holding an instrument in the same position for long periods of time. Parents and music instructors should recognize when it is time to take a break from playing to give hands, arms, shoulders and neck a rest.
Young athletes are at risk of com-mon injuries like fractures, dislocations, ligament in-juries, tendon ruptures and tendonitis. Often these injuries are caused by accidents and falls during play, but they can also be caused by overuse. Sports like tennis, golf, lacrosse, softball, and baseball can cause injuries to hands, wrist, arms, elbows, and shoulders because of the repetitive swinging and shooting motions used during play. Make sure young athletes stretch to warm up before playing and have enough time to rest between games and practices.
When To See a Doctor
Most hand, wrist, arm, elbow, and shoulder in-juries can be treated at home with rest, ice, elevation and over the counter anti-inflammatory medication. However, some injuries need to be evaluated by a hand specialist. Fractures, open wounds dislocations, jammed fingers, crushed fingertips, swelling that does not improve after a few days, and any loss of motion are all signs that your child should be evaluated by a hand surgeon to reduce the risk of permanent damage. If your child sustains an injury and you are unsure of its severity, call us at 1-800-385-PHSC. Our team of orthopedic experts provide comprehensive care to patients of all ages for all injuries to the hands, wrists, arms, elbows, and shoulders. Our network of 15 offices and flexible scheduling options allow us to care for you and your family when and where its most convenient for you.
For more information about Dr. Wilson and the PHSC team, visit Hand-2ShoulderCenter.com or call 1-800-385-PHSC (7472).