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Kids' sports injuries often involve overuse

Apr 17th, 2012
LifeApps, Inc.

Overuse injures kidsMany of the sports injuries that occur among children can be prevented by limiting repetitive stress and overuse, experts say.

A webcast on reducing overuse injuries among kids will be held Tuesday, April, 17, from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. EDT, according to the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine. The organization has joined the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and the STOP Sports Injuries campaign to focus on kids and overuse during the month of April.

“The escalation of injuries in kids, especially as they relate to overuse is alarming,” said Dr. James Andrews, past president of AOSSM and STOP Sports Injuries Campaign co-co-Chair. “Sports participation teaches kids priceless lessons about life, health and sportsmanship, but they need to be playing various sports, switching up their routines and armed with the correct information and tools to stay on the field and out of my operating room.”

Here are some have several tips for parents, coaches and young athletes to help prevent injuries (from AOSSM, AAOS and the STOP Sports Injuries campaign):

Schedule an appointment for your child to receive a pre-participation physical to determine any pre-existing conditions or injuries.

  • Encourage your child to properly warm up and cool down before and after an activity.
  • Obtain instruction on proper training and technique.
  • Develop skills that are age appropriate and increase training gradually. Recent research has shown that specializing in one sport at an early age can actually be detrimental to skill development.
  • Encourage your child or player to rest and take a break, and to speak up if they are in pain or think they are hurt.

"Young athletes want to be the best they can be, and they believe intense training and competition can help them achieve their goals,"  said Dr. Frederick Azar, second vice president of the AAOS. "Sometimes, however, this approach can have the opposite effect. Frequent and repeated duplication of the same movement – whether in swimming, pitching, tumbling, jumping or serving - can produce an overuse injury that may jeopardize a child or teenager's sports career. With a few adjustments, parents and coaches can help make sports fun - and safe - again for young people."

Tuesday's webcast will feature Andrews, Dr. Peter Indelicato, Dr. Christopher Harner, Dr. Lyle Micheli, and Dr. William Levine. It's free but requires registration.