Overuse Injuries in Young Athletes
An estimated 35 million young people in the United States between the ages of 6 and 21 participate in competitive sports, according to an article published in Suburban Journals. For these millions of young people, sports are way to enhance camaraderie, foster healthy competition, provide exercise, and learn coordination, balance, and endurance. But all too often, these young athletes are pushed too far by coaches, parents, fans, and even themselves. Popular sayings like “pain is weakness leaving the body,” encourage athletes to play to the end, no matter what the cost. Sports injuries resulting from overuse can cause permanent damage to growing bodies.
“Young athletes are not small adults. Their bones, muscles, tendons, and ligaments are still growing and that makes them more prone to injury. Because young athletes of the same age can differ greatly in size and physical maturity, some may try to perform at levels beyond their ability to keep up with their peers,” the National Institutes of Health.
Sports-related Overuse Injuries
In the article, family medicine specialist Dr. Jack Galbraith explains that overuse injuries can cause permanent damage to young bodies. He encourages athletes to listen to their bodies and get checked out by a doctor if they are experiencing the following injuries, as they may be a sign of overuse.
- Sore muscles
- Broken bones
- Torn ligaments
- Head injuries
Safety Tips for Parents
Safety tips from Suburban Journals article:
- Encourage your child to participate in sports at his or her own level of ability and interest.
- Be sure your child receives proper conditioning and training before participating in any sport.
- Do not encourage your child to “play through the pain.”
- Be sure your young athlete eats properly and receives an adequate amount of rest.
- Do not increase your child's training time by more than 10 percent a week.
- For younger children, it is healthier to enroll them in a variety of sports, using different body parts and developing different skills.
- If your young athlete does sustain an injury, be sure he or she heals completely before returning to the playing field.
Contact an Experienced Child Injury Attorney
At Thomas J. Henry, we have the experience and resources to handle your child’s case. If your child has been the victim of a serious injury, contact our offices. We are available 24/7, nights and weekends.