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Healthy Balance

Infographic: Sports Injuries- Pain by the Game

It’s all over the news these days: Football players suffering from brain injuries due to years spent getting hurt on the field.

But keeping your kid off the football team isn’t the solution: All sports activities can prove harmful to healthy development without the proper safety equipment and the necessary care. Young baseball pitchers and gymnasts, for instance, can permanently damage their joints and inhibit growth due to repetitive use without enough rest.

So what can you do? From Bobby Chhabra, MD, orthopedic specialist and director of the UVA Hand Center: “My advice for any parent with a child involved in sports is that it’s OK for them to take time off from their sport.”

Compare and Contrast: Sports Injuries by Game

Take a look at how these sports compare in terms of injuries and what you can do to minimize the risk.

Sports Injuries and Protective Gear

Download the printable version of Common Injuries by Sport (PDF).

Infographic text: Play It Safe

Although sports participation provides numerous physical and social benefits, it also has a downside: risk of sports-related injuries.

  • Football
    • Common injuries & issues
      • Sprains, strains, pulled muscles and bruises
      • Tears to soft tissue like ligaments
      • Broken bones, back and internal injuries
      • Concussions
      • Sunburn
    • Protective gear
      • Mouth and shin guards
      • Shoulder and chest/rib pads
      • Forearm, elbow and thigh pads
      • Males: athletic support
      • Proper shoes and sunscreen
    • Inside tip
      • Knees and ankles are most common injury sites
  • Baseball & Softball
    • Common injuries & issues
      • Soft tissue strains
      • Sunburn
      • Impact injuries that include fractures caused by sliding and being hit by a ball
    • Protective gear
      • Batting helmet
      • Shin guards
      • Elbow guards
      • Males: athletic support
      • Mouth guard
      • Sunscreen
      • Cleats
      • Hat
    • Inside tip
      • “Breakaway bases” can be safer than traditional, stationary ones
  • Basketball
    • Common injuries & issues
      • Bruises, scrapes and cuts
      • Sprains, strains and fractures
      • Injuries to teeth, ankles and knees
        • *Injury rates are higher in girls, especially for the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL).
    • Protective gear
      • Eye protection
      • Elbow and knee pads
      • Males: athletic support
      • Proper shoes
      • Mouth guard
    • Inside tip
      • Strength training and aerobics can help avoid injuries
  • Track & Field
    • Common injuries & issues
      • Strains and sprains
      • Scrapes from gall
    • Protective gear
      • Proper shoes
      • Males: athletic support
      • Sunscreen
    • Inside tip
      • Inspect running shoes: if they have worn thin or are angled, they should be replaced
  • Soccer
    • Common injuries & issues
      • Bruises, cuts and scrapes
      • Headaches
      • Sunburn
    • Protective gear
      • Shin guards
      • Cleats
      • Males: athletic support
      • Sunscreen
    • Inside tip
      • Proper training in “heading” the ball can help limit injuries
  • Gymnastics
    • Common injuries & issues
      • Soft tissue strains
    • Protective gear
      • Safety harness
      • Males: athletic support
      • Joint supports (such as neoprene wraps)
    • Inside tip
      • “RICE” (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) can be used to treat minor injuries

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