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When to Take Your Child to the ER for a Sports Injury

When to Take Your Child to the ER for a Sports Injury: Orthopedics & Concussion   

Soccer. Basketball. Baseball. Football. Cheerleading. Sports injuries can occur at any time during any type of practice, game, match, set or competition. Head and orthopedic injuries can even occur when your child is playing at home. In most cases, your child’s pediatrician can provide initial care for many orthopedics concerns: broken bones, sprains, strains and ligament tears, such as the common ACL tear. He/she will refer your child to a pediatric orthopedic specialist as needed. However, if your child sustains a more serious injury while on the field, emergency care may be necessary. 

If Your Child Has These Symptoms, Visit the Pediatric ER

Seek ER treatment if your child’s sports injury meets the following parameters: 

  • The child is younger than 4 years old and cannot use the arm or bear weight on the leg that was injured.
  • The limb that was injured looks misshapen or bone is protruding from the skin. 

Concussions are a significant concern for sports injuries, and special care is required during and after a concussion. If your child’s injury is accompanied by these symptoms, emergency care may be necessary: 

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Change in level of consciousness (asks repetitive questions, has memory loss)
  • Vomiting more than once
  • Fever
  • Abdominal pain
  • Neck pain
  • Difficulty breathing