According to a recent article in the Norwich Bulletin – a local newspaper in Connecticut – while concussions remain the number one concern for youth sports injuries, there is a growing number of hand and wrist injuries among youths engaged in “stick, puck, ball or contact sport.”
According to the Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery and Research, approximately 25 percent of sports-related injuries involve the hand or wrist and the number is increasing. Because involvement in sports for youth is increasing, so is the number of injuries.
Not all injuries are from games. In fact, over half (62 percent) of sports-related injuries happen during practice, when parents are less likely to implement safety precautions.
This poses concerns about the future of these young athletes who, often, rely on sports scholarships for continuing education.
There are ways to prevent injuries such as proper safety equipment but inevitably – because sports are high-energy and often contact-related – injuries happen regardless of the precautions you take.
Aside from direct hand and wrist injuries, overuse can also cause long-term problems for active kids and youths which can range from doing too much, too often, to not allowing time for rest.
A general consensus among experts is to not disregard any form of pain or injury. Even if it seems small or insignificant, a neglected minor injury can turn into something bigger and longer-lasting.
Ultimately, kids are very resilient and active. Two things together can make it difficult to force them to stop participating but if your athletic youth shows any hand or wrist tenderness after impact or over-use, it is important to make sure not to participate in any sports until it is completely healed to prevent injury and/or long-term damage to the hand and/or wrist.