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Thursday, September 8, 2016

Texas Orthopedics on Pediatric Overuse Injuries

Parents, listen up: experts say if your child plays the same sport year-round, he may be at risk for serious injuries and burnout. New research shows that overuse sports injuries in children could have a serious effect on their growing bodies.

Overuse injuries literally come from 'overusing' the same group of joints or muscles too much. (Think throwing a ball, or kicking it over and over.) These repetitive motions can be damaging, and painful, to a youngster. A common overuse injury might be a stress fracture or tendonitis.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has issued a warning to parents whose kids play year round sports, or focus too early on one single sport. They say that burnout is almost certain, and season-ending injuries can likely occur.

Findings from the AAP's report titled "Sports Specialization and Intensive Training in Young Athletes," include:
  • The youth sports culture has changed drastically over the past 40 years with children increasingly focusing on a single sport at an early age and continuing to play that same sport all year long.
  • Many kids are determined to gain college scholarships, or pursue a professional athletic career, due to pressure from parents and coaches, even though those may be unrealistic goals.
  • Approximately 70 percent of children choose to drop out of organized sports by age 13, because of mounting pressure to perform well, the stress of competing, or lack of enjoyment.
  • Children who participate in a variety of different sports however are more inclined to make physical activity a priority in their lives for years to come.
The AAP encourages children to try out multiple sports and avoid specializing in any one sport until late adolescence when their bodies are more mature and have finished developing.

You can read the full report and learn more about the AAP's complete recommendations for participating in youth sports right here.

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