Prevent Overuse Injuries In Children

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Doctors can treat them. Parents and coaches can prevent them.

Sports are a great way for young athletes to exercise and have fun. It’s also a way to learn about teamwork and develop discipline. But healthy competition is becoming unhealthy.

More and more young athletes under the age of 12 are focusing on just one sport, and training year-round. Sports specialization in youth is defined as engaging in a sport for at least three seasons a year at the exclusion of other sports.

Kids who specialize early are more likely to develop overuse injuries because of repetitive movements, be stressed, and quit sports.[1]

Orthopedic surgeons often treat sports-related broken bones and muscle injuries.

However, the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS) and the American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine (AOSSM) want to help young athletes prevent overuse injuries.

The OneSport™ campaign, which kicked off across media spaces nationwide

in spring 2018, educates parents, coaches and young athletes about the dangers of early sports specialization.

Facts about Overuse Sports Injuries

Overuse injuries in children happen gradually over time, but can have a lifelong effect on their game, health and quality of life.

  • When a young child whose body is still growing and developing, and repeatedly participates in one type of athletic activity, their body does not have enough time to heal properly between resting and playing.

  • Intense and repetitive training can lead to pediatric trauma and may require surgery to young shoulders, knees, elbows and wrists.

  • While most experts agree that some degree of sports specialization is necessary, there is much debate about how early intense training should begin.