Making Kids Sports Fun: How To Prevent Sprains and Strains


Find ways to keep your children free from worries of injuries in their physical activities with prevention and first aid methods of dealing with sprains and strains.

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Children are natural explorers, and they discover the world by pushing their boundaries and testing their limits. Their explorations, unfortunately, do not come completely risk-free, especially as they venture into the world of kids sports.

Unlike your usual bumps and tumbles, kids' sports pose the risk of getting other body injuries such as sprains and strains. The good news is, as parents and caregivers, we can equip our young ones with the tools and knowledge that they need to avoid these injuries and enjoy safe and fun sports.

What is the Difference Between a Sprain and a Strain?

In order to deal with sprains and strains, we must understand beforehand what they are and how they differ from one another. Sprains and strains are considered soft tissue injuries; injuries inflicted on the tissues that surround the organs of the body and connect other tissues. This includes ligaments, muscles, fat, and tendons, among others.

Soft tissue injuries can range from mild to severe and they are caused by trauma, overuse, or repetitive stress. As these injuries typically do not involve damage to bones and internal organs, they usually heal without any complications. But be wary as they can cause pain, swelling, bruising, and limited range of motion before recovery.


Sprains occur when a ligament, the connecting tissue between two bones that play a crucial role in stabilizing and supporting the joints, is stretched or torn. Sprains are commonly experienced in the ankles and are usually caused by the unnatural movement of the joint.


Strains, on the other hand, occur when the muscle or tendon is twisted, pulled, or torn. It is also known as “pulled muscle” and often happens due to the overuse or improper use of the muscles.

How Do You Prevent Sprains and Strains?

Now that we understand the sprain and strain difference, let’s look at ways in which we can prevent our kids from getting these injuries. After all, prevention is better than cure when it comes to our little ones. Here are some key strategies to keep in mind:

Warm Up and Stretch

Before engaging in any physical activity, make sure that your children are properly warmed up and that their muscles are well stretched. Stretching and warm-ups help the muscle become more flexible and experience less strain. It enables smoother movement of the body with much less stress and effort from the tissues.

Wear Proper Gear and Safety Equipment

Ensure that your children are properly geared with safety equipment before they enjoy their sports or other activities. This means checking if the gears fit snugly and are sturdy enough to protect them from potential accidents that may inflict injuries. Safety equipment provides essential support to their body that drastically reduces the impact or stress of abrupt movements.

Communication and Supervision

Nothing is more important than being present and attentive to your children, especially during activities that involve running, climbing, jumping, or other high-intensity movements. Children are naturally inclined to engage in these types of activities hence, it is essential that we communicate with them the risks and dangers of such activities and be on watch.

How to Deal With Sprains and Strains

On the off chance that your child gets injured from their activities, here’s the RICE tip for strain and sprain first aid for the first 48 hours of the injury:


Rest the injured part until the pain subsides. Movement will only further aggravate the pain and induce stress on the body part.


Use an ice pack or cold compress in a towel and put it gently over the injured part. This will reduce the inflammation and numb the pain in the area as the cold constricts the blood vessels and restricts circulation in the area. Do this for no more than 20 minutes then take a 20-minute break and repeat until the swelling subsides.


Use a compression bandage to support the injured area for at least two days. This will speed healing in the injured area as the pressure will improve the blood flow and thus, will prevent blood from pooling in the veins.


Raise the injured part to above the heart level. This will limit the pressure from the injured area and further reduce the inflammation.


Astrofen, otherwise known as ibuprofen, is an orange-flavored suspension used in the management of mild to moderate pain and inflammation, such as injuries like sprains and strains. It is also used to reduce fever. Just shake the bottle before use and take it as prescribed by the physician.

Childhood is a journey of exploration and discovery, and it is often accompanied by various risks and dangers. However, minor injuries need not be a major concern for parents. With precaution, guidance, and the right care, we can turn these moments into stepping stones of resilience and learning. Take the lead and start nurturing an active, safe, and joyful childhood for your little explorers! — (Nurturemed)