Preventing Kid Injuries During Skiing

Skiing is a great way to get your kids off the iPad and onto the slopes – an outdoor recreation that lets California born-and-breds see a side of the natural world they might otherwise never witness up close.

But snow is also a fast, high-impact, and slippery medium, one which punishes the overconfident among us with terrible spills. Thousands of children are injured skiing each year in preventable ways, and the vast majority of these could be helped with a little education.

This page is a great place to start. It outlines the most common ski injuries among children, from head injuries to broken bones to torn cartilage. As a pediatric orthopedist, I follow all such resources with interest, and I found this especially helpful:

The majority of these injuries occurred when there was less than 1 inch of new snowfall, and snowfall of less than 2 inches was associated with increased injury severity. This corroborates the long-held ski patroller observation that, with low snowfall, the slopes are icier and faster and skiers are at increased risk of all injuries under such conditions—particularly severe injuries.

In other words, less snow means more go: icier conditions are more difficult to manage and harder to strike. Scant snowfall also means there are often fewer people on the slopes, which can cut both ways: it reduces the chance of a collision with another skier, but it provides far more room to open up and attain top speeds.

Bottom line: ski your expertise, and do not try harder slopes until you have mastered the level before. Making sure that all boots and skis are properly sized is important too, and don’t forget to study some simple ways to minimize the damage of an impact when you lose control.

For more information about pediatric injuries and pediatric orthopedic surgery in San Diego, contact the offices of Dr. William Holland today.

Let’s Talk About Soccer Injuries in Pediatric Orthopedics

As a San Diego pediatric orthopedist, I see a lot of young people and their parents for sports injuries. In many cases, these injuries are simple bangs and twists which will heal over time – but for a small minority, pediatric sports injuries suggest a larger pattern which foretells future health issues down the line.

Soccer is a surprisingly common culprit for injuries such as these, especially given the recent attention that football has received. Like football, soccer is still a contact sport, and some evidence suggests that it’s becoming a more common source of injuries as well:

The injury rate for youth soccer players aged 7 to 17 more than doubled over the 25-year period ending in 2014, according to an analysis of children treated in U.S. hospitals. Even though concussions accounted for just 7 percent of these injuries, the annual rate of concussions surged by almost 1,600 percent during the same period.

Soccer is certainly growing more popular, and that fact alone could account for some of the increase: no one has done a “per capita” study that I’m aware of. But there is a second hypothesis which may have some merit as well: the incidence of injuries has stayed flat, but parents and coaches are much more cautious today than they used to be about seeking medical care:

It’s also possible some of the increase in injuries came from a growing awareness of concussions and head traumas that prompts more kids to be treated in hospitals, Xiang said.

Whatever the case, it’s important to get treated and provide some test for young athletes as soon as possible. For the best sports medicine for kids in San Diego, contact the San Diego pediatric orthopedic offices of Dr. William Holland, MD, today.

A Milestone for Pediatric Orthopedics

As a pediatric orthopedist who treats a great number of hand and wrist injuries, I hear a lot about advances in the field. Recently the orthopedic community celebrated a milestone in this area of medicine: the world’s first pediatric double hand transplant.

The video alone is worth watching for its warmth and clarity:


Needless to say, the intricacies of procedures such as this one are staggering, as they can involve every tissue type along with the recondite questions about matching, immunity, and growth. It remains to be seen how this patient’s hands will develop, but the initial success of the surgery is cause enough for optimism.

I am proud to be considered one of the best pediatric orthopedists in San Diego. If your child has suffered an injury or chronic pain in the shoulder, elbow, wrist or hand, please don’t hesitate to contact my offices for a consultation today.