Both the New York Giants and New York Jets returned to the field this past week, and soon kids around Northern New Jersey will end their summer fun and return to the schoolyard. And while the start to school is usually full of parent signatures, classroom contracts and sports physicals, Hudson Regional Hospital wants to take some of the guesswork out of the back-to-school blues and urge you to keep your children safe.
In the U.S., about 30 million children and teens participate in some form of organized sports, and more than 3.5 million injuries each year, which cause some loss of participation time, are experienced by the participants. Almost one-third of all injuries incurred in childhood are sports-related injuries. By far, the most common injuries are sprains and strains.
Some sports are more dangerous than others. For example, contact sports such as football can be expected to result in a higher number of injuries than a non-contact sport such as swimming. However, all types of games have a potential for harm, whether from the trauma of contact with other players or from overuse or misuse of a body part. But this does not mean if your child does not participate in sports they will be safe!
The following statistics are from the National SAFE KIDS Campaign and the American Academy of Pediatrics:
More than 3.5 million children ages 14 and younger get hurt annually playing sports or participating in recreational activities.
Sports and recreational activities contribute to approximately 21 percent of all traumatic brain injuries among American children.
Almost 50 percent of head injuries sustained in sports or recreational activities occur during bicycling, skateboarding or skating incidents.
More than 775,000 children, ages 14 and younger, are treated in hospital emergency rooms for sports-related injuries each year. Most of the injuries occurred as a result of falls, being struck by an object, collisions, and overexertion during unorganized or informal sports activities.
Hudson Regional Hospital provides a range of physicians fully capable of all pediatrics examinations. They are experts on the treatment options that can be used with young people. Based on the most recent data and input from Hudson Regional Hospital physicians on the best techniques parents can employ, please consider these.
There are several best practices both parents and their children can use to ensure a successful school year not only mentally, but also physically. Wearing a backpack correctly, proactively scheduling sports physicals and immunizations and maintaining a routine can help! Then, the entire family can breathe easy until that first school vacation.
1. Examine Your Backpack
If you don’t want your child to join the 31 million Americans who suffer from lower back pain yearly, it’s important your child only carries between 5-10 percent of their body weight. When selecting a backpack, choose one with thick, padded straps, bonus points if there is a waist strap. Added back padding is also crucial. Don’t think the backpack has to be boring though, the more compartments for storage, the better!
2. Schedule Sports Physicals
We all know how hard it can be to schedule a doctor’s appointment. When your student is playing a fall sport, take advantage of the weeks before school starts and take care of that busy work. For most fall sports, students need to complete a sports physical along with a written history of health problems. But don’t forget about vaccinations, which are another vital part of a child’s total health picture.
As of August 2018, to begin public school, all children must be vaccinated against polio, measles, mumps, rubella, hepatitis B. Only when entering sixth grade do students need the meningococcal and Tdap vaccines. We ask that you choose Hudson Regional Hospital for all pediatric care and vaccinations. We provide a safe, therapeutic and friendly environment for infants, children and adolescents through innovative medical care, research, training, and advocacy.
4. Routine, Routine, Routine
In combination with the three tips above, it is crucial that both you and your child get on a daily school routine as quickly as possible. This means eating breakfast every day and having a standard regular wake-up time. If your child is starting at a new school, visit the school. Together, go through the steps that your student might have to go through on their first day. For even further preparation, start your child on their school sleep/wake schedule a week ahead of time.
And, chas v’shalom, if your child does get sick or hurt with sports activities. Hudson Regional Hospital offers pediatric and other services, both on an inpatient and outpatient basis. For sports injuries, our robotic surgeries have been successful with limited time during the recovery period.
Patients can inquire about these services or schedule appointments by contacting the hospital directly, either via telephone, at 201-392-3100, or email, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Patients facing medical emergencies should proceed directly to the emergency room at 55 Meadowlands Parkway, Secaucus, NJ 07094. The emergency room contact number is 201-392-3210.