One of the biggest issues in the field of pediatric orthopedics today is the alarming number of sports-related injuries among children. While some of these injuries are an unavoidable part of playing contact sports, the majority of them can actually be prevented. One type of injury is acute, meaning it is the result of a single event. This type is a natural occurrence in sports, especially when they involve full contact with other players. Examples include shoulder dislocation, ankle sprain, or leg fracture. The best way to avoid acute injuries is through proper training and technique in whichever sport the child is playing. The other type of injury is called overuse.
Overuse injuries occur over time when a child participates in sports too much. When children play a variety of sports during different times of year, overuse injuries are less likely. This is because these children put strain on different muscles, bones, and joints with each sport that they play, so no single area is being overworked. Unfortunately, more and more children are concentrating on one sport all year long, leading to more overuse injuries. One reason that a child may devote so much time to one activity may be excessive pressure from parents to become a star athlete. Some parents even begin training their child in one sport when he or she is only six months old. In their efforts to decrease the number of sports-related injuries, many pediatric orthopedic doctors are trying to educate parents, coaches, and athletes about overuse. Continue reading