Most children depend on recreational and school sports for exercise and fun. But too many young athletes suffer needless injuries.
Each year, more than 2.6 million children up to age 19 suffer sports injuries severe enough to require emergency-room treatment, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Any physical activity involves some risks, but injury rates are highest in high-impact sports.
Sports are the second most frequent cause of injury to teenagers, although, after puberty, boys are more likely to be hurt than girls of the same age.
Mouth and Facial Injuries
The Indian Academy of Pediatric Dentistry is concerned with the prevalence of sports-related injuries in today’s youth. Increased competitiveness has resulted in an alarming number of dental and facial injuries, which combined represent a high percentage of the total injury experienced in youth sports.
The Indian Academy of Pediatric Dentistry therefore recommends that administrators of youth, high school, and college sporting teams take the following preventive measures to help reduce the number of face and mouth injuries, as well as other bodily injuries.
- Properly fitted protective mouth guards should be recommended for all youth participating in contact and collision sports, and required for all youth participating in sports that have a high risk for orofacial injury.
- A certified face protector should be recommended for boys and girls ages 12 and younger who are participating in organized baseball and softball activities, and required for youths ages 13 through high school-age for organized baseball and softball activities.
- A dentist with expertise in dental and facial injuries be consulted prior to the start of the season to recommend procedures for dealing with sports-related injuries, such as knocked out teeth, also known as avulsed teeth.