Unfortunately, since there are so many sports, there are also many ways children can hurt themselves.
Some of the most common types of injuries include:
Sprains and strains
Ligaments are bands of tissue that connect two or more bones at a joint, and stop a joint from moving too much. When a ligament is injured, it is called a sprain. Ankle sprains are the most common sprains—in fact, they’re the most common sports injury.
A strain is similar to a sprain—it occurs when there is a tissue injury. However, a strain means there is damage to a muscle or tendon (the cord of tissue that connects muscles and bones).
Growth plate injuries
Children and adolescents have growth plates—areas of tissue that develop at the ends of long bones (e.g., fingers and toes, forearm, thigh bone). Once a child finishes growing, the growth plate is replaced by solid bone.
Most growth plate injuries affect the knee, heel, shoulder, or elbow.
Repetitive motion or overuse injuries
If a child is constantly moving a part of the body—by, for example, pitching a baseball, swinging a tennis racket, or running cross-country—he may develop a repetitive motion or overuse injury.
Stress fractures and tendinitis are two of the most common types of repetitive or overuse. A stress fracture is a small crack or weak spot in a bone. Tendinitis occurs when one or more tendons becomes irritated or inflamed.
A fracture is a broken bone. Most fractures are in the arms and legs, and a child is most likely to have a fracture in his wrist, forearm, or right above the elbow.