A few years ago, my youngest son went off to hang out with friends on a beautiful summer evening. It was the beginning of school vacation.
About 30 minutes later, we got a call asking that we come and get Dylan...he'd fallen on his arm while playing on his friend's trampoline and it didn't look too good. The resulting injury required surgery, weeks in an immobilizer, and lots of rehab -- courtesy of mum.
What a way to bond with your teenager!
The whole experience put a big damper on my son's summer that year -- no swimming, no La Crosse camp, and no more trampoline. "Be careful!" became the mantra every time he left the house. I'm sure it must have been very irritating for him.
Dylan's surgery and recovery were successful, and he's moved on without any complications -- other than a weird looking bump on his elbow from the screw that's still in there. At some point it may have to come out.
As the mother of active children, these things are to be expected. I don't think too many kids who are involved in sports and outdoor recreation make it through to their adult years without some sort of injury. It seems to be a right of passage...and fodder for greatly exaggerated re-telling later on.
Kids and teens are incredibly resilient -- they seem to adapt easily, and recover quickly.
But what happens when we get injured once we reach adulthood? And as we age?
Our ability to adapt and recover diminishes. An injury that would be barely a blip on the radar screen when we were kids can become a much bigger obstabcle as we get older. Rather than just putting a damper on our summer, it can negatively affect the rest of our life.
That's why we should be more and more focused on injury prevention rather than injury recovery as we get further into adulthood.
I'm not saying that an injury has to be catastrophic if we get hurt -- goodness knows I've sustained my share of injuries doing dumb stuff! It's just that it would be good to avoid the dumb stuff in the first place.
Over the next couple of months, PMP will be doing a series of articles to help you understand and avoid the most common summer sports and recreational injuries...and if you happen to get one of these injuries, we'll give you tips and techniques so you can recover quickly and get back to doing the things you love.
When I think of summer activities in Colorado, I come up with a pretty big list: hiking, biking, inner tubing, rafting, swimming, gardening, home improvements, tennis, golf, roller blading, rock climbing.
And when I consider all the potential for injury, I can come up with a pretty big list too: wrist, knee and ankle sprains, a varienty of broken bones, head and neck injuries, shoulder and elbow tendonitis, low back pain [always!].
I'd love to hear what you think are the top three summer injuries in Colorado...leave me you best guess in the comments below. What activities did I leave off the list? [You'll have to be logged in to the PMP site to leave a comment].
Next week, we'll get started telling you more about #1 summer injury in Colorado -- how to prevent it, and what to do if you've already started your summer with this injury.
I look forward to reading your comments.