With scholarships and college acceptances on the line, high school sports have become more competitive and challenging. High school athletes account for over 2 million yearly injuries, with 30,000 leading to hospitalizations. It’s important to ensure that your teen is taking preventive measures to avoid getting injured and sitting out for a game, or worse, a whole season.
Know the most common injuries for popular high school sports and educate your teens on safety measures to keep them feeling whole all season long.
Football is the most popular high school sport in America for boys, with over one million athletes playing every year. Did you know that there are twice as many high school athlete injuries playing football than in other sports? That’s because football is a high-contact sport. The most common football injuries include concussions and ligament sprains, and fractures.
Basketball is a high-contact sport that can lead to hip and thigh injuries and ankle sprains. Basketball can also lead to growth plate injuries, resulting in bone deformity and hindering bone growth.
Volleyball is one of the most popular high school sports in America for girls, with about 500,000 athletes playing every season. Ankle injuries are the most common injury in volleyball. While most ankle sprains need rest and physical therapy to heal properly, some sprains can be associated with hairline fractures or cartilage injuries that require greater care.
Soccer is usually considered a safe sport, but injuries can still occur. The most common soccer injuries are ligament sprains, muscle strain and concussions. It’s also possible to sustain a neck injury when heading the soccer ball.
Baseball and Softball Injuries
1 in every 1,000 high school baseball practices or games has an athlete injury occur. Pitchers are the most vulnerable to injuries, especially shoulder and elbow overuse injuries. Depending on the severity, these muscle sprains and strains may require surgery and cause players to sit out for an entire season.
Cheerleading and Gymnastics Injuries
With all the stunt performing, jumping and tumbling these athletes do during practices and competitions, there are some injuries to be aware of. While concussion rates for cheerleading and gymnastics are lower than in other high school sports, it’s still a fairly common injury — other common injuries include ankle injuries and ligament sprains.
The most common swimming injury is swimmer’s shoulder. This is an injury that can be caused due to rotator cuff impingement, bicep tendonitis or shoulder instability. These injuries require extensive medical treatment and physical therapy to get the athlete back on the water safely.
How to Prevent Sports Injuries
With any sport, injuries are unexpected. It’s important to remind your teenager of safety guidelines and preventive measures they can take to avoid injuries when possible. Here are some ways your teen can protect themselves while playing:
- Get a sports check-up with their primary care physician before the start of a season
- Learn stretches that can help loosen up tense muscles before and after practices and games
- Make sure they’re warmed up before playing or practicing more intensely
- Remind them to inform you of any pain they are experiencing, even if they think it’s minor
- Stay hydrated before, during and after practices and games
- Wear all necessary protective equipment, such as helmets, mouth guards, and shin guards
Expert Sports Injury Care Close to Home
Sitting out for a game or a season is never fun, but it’s important to allow injuries to heal properly before getting back in the game. At AdventHealth Sports Med & Rehab, our care team crafts a game plan to get your teen back stronger than ever at a safe pace. Click here to learn more about our sports medicine and rehabilitation care and how we can help your child recover from (and prevent) high school sports injuries.