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Don't Pooh Pooh Kids' Pain

If a child complains, feel his/her pain

(HealthDayNews) -- If your child says playing sports is 'a pain', take him (or her) literally. Failing to warm up adequately before vigorous exercise can result in a potentially serious injury. Here are some pointers, courtesy of Temple University Hospital:

  • A good warm-up, which is essential, can involve light calisthenics or a short jog. This helps raise the core body temperature and prepares all the body's muscles for physical activity.
  • Children should not be encouraged to "play through pain." Pain is a warning sign of injury, which can get worse if it's ignored.
  • Swelling with pain and limited motion are two signs that are especially significant in children -- don't ignore them. They may mean the child has a more serious injury than initially suspected.
  • Rest is by far the most powerful and fastest therapy for youth sports injuries.
  • Injuries that look like sprains in adults can be fractures in children. Children are more susceptible to fractures because their bones are still growing.
  • Ice is a universal first-aid treatment for minor sports injuries. Regular ice packs -- not chemical packs -- should be available at all games and practices. Ice controls the pain and swelling caused by common injuries such as sprains, strains and bruises.
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