No sport is without risk of injury and lacrosse is no different. It’s important that parents understand that before they enroll their child in a team. Lacrosse is one of the fastest growing sports in the U.S. and many children are finding satisfaction and educational opportunities as a result of their lacrosse experience.
The most common injuries a lacrosse player may incur are the following.
- Ankle sprains
- Contusions (bruises) of the face and head
- Knee sprains
- Fractured wrist
- Hip flexor strain
- Low back pain
- Rib fractures
The potential for those injuries can be mitigated by appropriate conditioning, strengthening, education, and properly fitting footwear and gear. Off season conditioning will play an important role. Lacrosse players are required to pivot and dodge at a moment’s notice. The potential for sprains and strains will decrease significantly when stretching is observed before play and muscle strength and flexibility are maintained.
Game play can be fast and furious in lacrosse and fractures in any sport are possible. Ensuring that young athletes have the appropriate protective gear will help mitigate the possibility of fractures, particularly of the ribs. Players often like to wear the least amount of padding possible to increase speed, flexibility, and dexterity. While rib pads are not a requirement in lacrosse, they’re highly recommended.
One of the most immediate concerns for parents of young athletes is the potential for a concussion. While the injury is rare in lacrosse, it’s not impossible. Most research and development has gone into more effective helmets for football, but no helmet can prevent a concussion. However, it’s essential that a lacrosse helmet fits properly to mitigate the possibility. Helmets are required for male players, but are optional for female competitors.
Every sport presents the potential for injuries, even with protective equipment. Parents should be aware of the types of injuries that can be incurred and prepare themselves for the eventuality. However, the possibility of an injury shouldn’t be the sole and deciding factor in whether to allow their child to play lacrosse.