What are the most common injuries in Children's sport??
Organised sports in schools and clubs give our children so much.
They help to improve their fitness and promote a healthy lifestyle as well as teach them the values of team work, resilience and effort.
Recently a study from the Loyola University Medical Centre has demonstrated though, too much of a good thing can in fact be a bad thing.
Sports medicine physician Dr Neeru Jayanthi resently presented findings from a study of 1,206 young athletes aged 8 to 18 that showed those who specialsed in one sport and train intensively have a significantly higer risk of stress fractures and other severe overuse injuries.
Out of the 1,206 children studied who specialised early, 859 developed injuries including 564 overuse injuries (ALMOST HALF!!!) and 139 of those were serious injuries such as stress fractures in the back or limbs whick kept them sidelined for 1-6 months or longer.
As a sports health professional, I find these statistics really quite scary.
One of the main reasons children drop out of sport is due to injury
Increased Risk of Injury
Young athletes who spent more hours per week than their age playing one sport.
For example, a 12 year old who played tennis for 13 or more hours per week was 70% more likely to experience overuse injuries.
This is a HUGE increase in risk for a child.
One of the main reasons children drop out of sport is injury so the larger their risk of injury, the more chance we will see our children dropping out and missing out on all the amazing benefits that come with sport.
Reduce Your Child's Risk
The best way to reduce risk of injury in children Injury Prevention is to mix things up.
Children need to find a balance between structured sports and unstructured play to best protect their bodies.
My best reccommendations for helping to reduce the risks in sporty children are as follows:
- Don't specialise early - if your children love sports, get them playing as many different sports as possible. Other studies have also demonstrated that kids who play multiple sports often end up as better athletes than those who specialise early as their bodies are better trained and conditioned than single sport kids.
- Reduced structured sports time - this study suggested that children should not spend more hours per week than their age playing one sport.
- Allow for unstructured play - Where children are only playing one sport, make sure they are matching the hours playing structured sport with unstructured play. That is to say, kicking the footy with mates, dancing to music in their bedroom, running, jumping and just playing!!!
- Mix up their footwear - it is hard as a parent to pay for all the things kids want to do but investing in a couple of pairs of shoes helps to vary the loads on the feet and legs and reduce injury risk.
- Remember sports are fun - the number one reason chidren play sport is because it's fun! As a parent it is sometimes easy to forget this. Let your kids have fun and encourage them.
Let's give our children a sporting chance (pun intended) and help to keep them healthy.
Between the ages of 16-18 specialisation is fine but before that, keep them involved in as many sports as possible.
If you are worried about your children or have concerns about injuries they have received in their sports please contact us on 8330 0004 or Book Online
I would love to talk to you about how we can help you build an amazing life from the feet up
Director of Complete Podiatry