If your teen is a skateboarder, snowboarder, or skiing fanatic, you know that injuriesare just as much part of the scene as the skaterboy hairdo. It is just expected, like the sun coming up each day. Experts say that less than 4 injuries occur for every 1,000 days of skateboarding, skiing, or snowboarding. Sometimes these injuries are minor and only require home care. Sometimes, however, they can be more critical and life-threatening, requiring you to call for medical help for your teen or for you to take him to the emergency room.
Knee and Ankle Sprains –Twisting and Shouting
Twisting, winding, and twirling down the slope of snow or slope of cement can put a bit of a strain on your teen’s ankles and knees. Ankles get sprained easily, especially when they are extended past the point of resistance. Knees are built to only twist in one direction and they are fluently sprained when bent in an unnatural position. Sprains are everyday among teens that engage in outdoor activities and sports like skateboarding, snowboarding, and skiing. Most sprains can be cared for at home and are not serious. If your teen experiences a sprain, you can anticipate bruising, pain, swelling, and a decrease in range of motion of the ankle or knee.
R.I.C.E. – It’s Not Just for Breakfast Anymore!
The main method for treating sprains is the R.I.C.E. method. R.I.C.E. represents Rest, Ice, Compress, and Elevate. For your teen’s sprains, here is some sound advice:
R: Rest. Your teen should stop the activity as soon as the ankle or knee starts to ache or pain is felt. Advise him to rest the knee or ankle for a while by sitting down for around an hour. If the discomfort stops after he has had a short rest, have him gently rotate and flex the area to see if there is any remaining pain and discomfort. If no pain exists, then he can hit the slopes again or the cement, whichever the case. If the area still hurts him, he will need I.C.E. it, so continue reading on for more advice.
I: Ice. Be sure you do NOT apply ice directly onto the skin! Instead, apply an ice pack wrapped in towel for 20 minutes on the sprained knee or ankle. Ice is important for minor wounds and twists that don’t stop aching after a short rest period. For serious sprains, you should apply ice to your teen’s sprains pronto. Even if you are going to seek medical help, you should ice the area down anyway. Apply an ice pack or just use a bag of frozen peas. Some parents put ice in a Ziplock bag and cover it with a cloth.
C: Compression. This simply means you need to wrap your teen’s sprained knee or ankle with an ACE bandage. Be sure to wrap it snugly but not too firmly. The pressure encourages the stray fluid that is at the hurt area to get back into the vessels where it belongs and circulate back to the heart. Do this for even simple sprains to reduce the chance of swelling and support the affected area. Once the knee or ankle is wrapped, apply the ice on top of the bandage.
E: Elevate. To elevate the area, simply make your teen raise the leg above the heart right away. He should also do this at night, too. The purpose of this is so gravity will help drain the excess fluid from the tissues.
Fierce Frostbite and Hateful Hypothermia
If your teen is outdoors and it’s cold, frostbite can sneak up and bite like a snake, as hypothermia can. Tell your teen that when he feels that ‘pins and needles’ feeling, that’s his warning sign to get the area warmed fast. He could also get to a warm area and stay for a while. When frostbite occurs, the skin will turn bright pink and then goes to red. Your teen may even notice mild swelling. Severe frostbite makes the skin turn dark or gray-blue. With hypothermia, as the body temperature goes down, your teen’s heart beat and breathing speeds up. He will also get clumsy, confused, and feel really sleepy. Both frostbite and hypothermia are serious situations and your teen should seek medical care should they occur.
Frostbite Facilitation and Hypothermia Help
Get your teen some medical attention if his fingers, nose, or toes are turning bluish-gray, pink, or bright red from frostbite. Don’t advise him to use the frostbitten part of the body and don’t rub the skin, as this is not appropriate. Have him put his hands under his armpits for warmth. He should warm up the area with warm running water (not hot) and avoid heating lamps, campfires, and blankets. He will need to remove all wet clothing and get to a place that is warm.
You are the Sunburn of my Life…
The sun’s rays are the hottest from 10 am to 4 pm., which is prime snowboarding, skateboarding, and skiing times. If your teen is out during this time, he is more likely to endure a sunburn. If he gets sunburned, expect him to complain of discomfort and pain. Other symptoms are redness, swelling, and even blistering. A minor burn will make the skin be tender to touch and be light red or dark pink. A more severe burn will involve blistering on the skin. If your teen has lots of blistering on his body, he will need medical attention fast.
Sunburn Treatment for Dummies…
When treating a sunburn, the main objective is to cool down the skin and ease the discomfort of the burn. Advise your teen to take a shower with cool tepid water or use some aloe vera cooling gel on his skin. Encourage him to drink plenty of fluids, preferable Gatorade, water, or Powerade. Sunburns can be very dehydrating because they draw water from the body. If your teen’s skin is burned, he will need to stay out of the sun for a couple of days so it can heal.
Savage Shin Splints
Shin Splints or stress fractures are one of the most common injuries in sports. Overcoming an injury like a stress fracture can be difficult for a teen, but it can be done. These are actually tiny cracks in the bone that are caused by repetitive application of force and overuse. Shin splints occur when there is repeated jumping activity or running. These can arise from normal use, also. Your teen would most likely get these in the lower leg or foot. People of all ages are affected by stress fractures. Symptoms include pain with activity and decrease in pain with rest.
Shin Splints Service
It is important to know that simple rest from a particular activity can cure a stress fracture. Teens must not engage in sports for around six weeks. Regular walking and the simple activities of daily activity are OK to do, however. Most teens will need to be checked out by a doctor, to rule out the possibility of serious injury.
Terrible Tears of the Calf Muscle
Often, teens that snowboard, ski, or skateboard get tears of the calf muscle. This causes pain that occurs in the lower part of the leg. A sign of simple tear is the characteristic “pop” that some athletes describe followed by severe pain. Often times, the teen will have bruising and swelling of the back part of the lower leg. These injuries usually occur during acceleration or changes in direction.
Calf Muscle Tear Therapy
Since the calf muscle is soft tissue and the injury does not involve the bone, it is often treated with the R.I.C.E. method we mentioned. You should have your teen elevate the leg, take anti-inflammatories to reduce the pain, and apply ice on for twenty minutes and off for twenty minutes. Most of the time, the torn muscle will reattach on its own. Full recovery may take a couple of weeks, depending on what your teen’s lifestyle entails.
Cunning Clavicle Fractures
A fracture of the clavicle is a common sports injury. It happens when there is a direct impact to the clavicle (the bone that connects the shoulder with the body). The clavicle, or collar bone, is easy to feel and see on most people. It is often broken when the teen falls with an outstretched arm. The pain associated with a fractured clavicle may be moderate or really severe. There will also be redness and bruising at the site of fracture. Some breaks are obvious and others are not. An X-Ray can tell the physician just how severe the facture is.
Catering to Clavicle Fractures
The main treatment for a clavicle fracture is to realign the bones so they will heal properly and in the correct position. Healing requires the arm and clavicle to be held in place by a strap and sling. Rarely, surgery is necessary if the bone is severely displaced. In general, a clavicle fracture will take around six to eight weeks to heal accurately.
Cautious Colles’ Wrist Fracture
A Colles’ fracture is a break across the radius that occurs when the hand is extended out during a fall. The break occurs causing the wrist to become shortened and extended. Teens that enjoy outdoor sporting activities often develop these types of fractures because falls often occur. Symptoms of a Colles’ fracture include inability to straighten the wrist or to hold heavy objects, distortion in the shape or angle of the forearm above the wrist, and pain and swelling of the injured area.
Curing Colles’ Fractures
Most of these fractures are not severe and the teen can be placed in a splint and sling. Sometimes, the healthcare professional applies a fiberglass cast. Your teen will be out of commission for a couple of months with this injury. The bone must often be ‘reduced’, which is the medical term for straightened out. Basic first aid for a Colles’ fracture includes making a splint with a flat board and ACE wrap and applying it. Take the teen to the emergency room for care. Go ahead and apply an ice pack over the wrist.
Did I Mention Prevention?
It is easier to prevent an injury that to treat an injury, so ask your teen to take your advice seriously and do what you can for prevention of mishaps. An ounce of prevention really is a pound of cure when it comes to the cost of healthcare these days. Here are some handy tips for preventing a sprain:
Warm up time. When you are about to start a sports activity, jog in place, walk quickly, and stretch to heat up your muscles. Be sure to do this before you hit the hills and ramps or pound on the cement. Get into the activity gently and gradually over a few minutes, giving your muscles a chance to get a respectable supply of blood rolling their way.
Cool down time. Your teen should cool down afterwards by stretching your muscles for around 5 to 10 minutes or tell him to try slow walking. These actions are done to keep the muscles from shortening and trapping the by-products of exercise (lactic acid) in the tissue and to prevent development of tautness.
Wear good shoes. Possibly the most significant thing your teen can do for prevention (other than straighten up his room) is to wear a pair of worthy shoes. Shoes that hold his feet firmly and prevent his ankles from rocking back and forth are best.
No pain, no pain. If your teen prevents pain, he will have no pain. Teach your teen to take listen to his body so as when he starts to feel pain he will rest for a while. If rest doesn’t help, then it’s time to try the R.I.C.E. formula treatment.
Layer up. When your teen is heading outdoors, he needs to wear layers of clothing and water-resistant coveralls. Have him start with longjohn underwear, add a thin layer of clothes, and then cover up with nylon waterproof gear. Make sure his shoes have Thinsulate, a product that keeps the feet warm. Mittens are better than gloves, and have him wear some type of hat.
Apply SPF. Whether he is outdoors skateboarding in the summer or skiing on the slopes during the winter, your teen needs SPF for sunburn prevention. Buy him no less than 15 SPF and tell him to reapply as necessary.