How to Treat Sports Injuries in Children Without Painkillers

Painkillers can have devastating effects on adults. These medications are addictive – they can cause debilitating side effects and, sometimes, they can even be lethal. In fact, the deadly heroin epidemic that’s laying waste to parts of the United States today was kicked off, in part, by prescription-related opioid abuse, according to many news sources.

Why on earth would doctors prescribe such potentially catastrophic treatments to children?

Children get hurt all the time – especially if they participate in sports or other physical activities, where they risk more than just a bump on the knee. An afternoon soccer practice or weekend gymnastics meet can easily lead to a hospital visit, where a simple prescription can send our children on a dangerous path. Last year, Sports Illustrated reported on an uptick in opiate addiction among high school athletes, many of whom were prescribed OxyContin or other painkillers after they were hurt. Sadly, just a month after the story was published, the Food and Drug Administration approved prescribing that same painkiller to children as young as 11.

For some children, especially those who suffer from chronic, paralyzing discomfort, painkillers are certainly a useful, necessary option. But for standard sports injuries, the sprains and bruises and even broken bones, it’s time to start considering other ways to treat our children’s pain.