Thousands of children are injured every year while engaging in school sporting events including football, wrestling, gymnastics, and other sports. Injuries sustained can include concussions, contusions, broken bones, torn ligaments, and others that can leave the student with permanent loss of function or diminished mental capacity.
Common Sports-Related Injuries
Concussions and contusions are among the most documented high school sports injuries. These are often sustained in football and wrestling events where contact with other students or hard surfaces can damage the brain. While the number of concussions sustained in Nevada has declined due to increased awareness and enhanced safety protocols, they remain a common and dangerous factor in high school sports.
Shoulder injuries affect students who lift weights, throw balls, wrestle, and those who are required to lift and support the weight of other students, such as cheerleaders. The shoulder is not a strong joint and injuries caused by these activities can result in permanent loss of range of motion if they are not promptly treated.
Knee injuries are the most common sports-related injury. Known as Patellofemoral Syndrome, knee injuries can occur to runners, basketball players, football players, baseball players, cheerleaders, and others who engage in sports that cause strain to the knee joints. Without proper treatment and rest following an injury, these injuries can lead to a significant decrease in an athlete’s range of motion and ability to further engage in the sport.
The Damage to Development
The physical body of student-athletes is still developing. When injuries occur, this affects the future growth of bones, development of muscles, strength of tendons/ligaments. The normal growth patterns of teenagers make students athletes highly susceptible to serious injuries. While acute injuries are often easily identified, injuries caused by overuse and repetitive strain often go unnoticed until they cause the student severe discomfort.
Coaches and others who monitor student sports are required to closely track their students and ensure that they receive proper instruction and treatment to prevent the development of sports-related injuries. In situations involving acute traumas such as concussions, broken bones, internal shocks, coaches and schools have a duty of care that includes providing access to immediate medical treatment. Following the injury, it is the responsibility of the coach and the individual’s doctor to ensure that students do not return to the field of play before the injuries have fully healed.