Youth Sports Injuries

Of the thirty eight million children aged zero to nineteen in the United States, more than two and a half million are treated in hospitals for injuries during playing sports. The most common reported injuries are breaks and strains. A sprain is an injury to a ligament. An ankle sprain is the most common athletic injury. A strain is an injury to either a muscle or a tendon. In some more severe cases, this can cause a stunt in growth plates. Heat related illnesses are also very common. It is imperative that children have enough water and fluids in their system whilst playing sports. This can prevent dehydration and even heat stroke. It is helpful knowing that if your child is enrolled in a sport through the school, the coach is responsible in knowing CPR and first aid. He or she should have a plan when it comes to certain injuries.

Make warm-ups and cool-downs a normal routine when your child is active in sports. This will help strains from happening. If your child plays outside and is playing in the hot sun, please make sure to have them wear either a hat (if the sport allows) or sunscreen. There is nothing worse than having a sunburn while playing sports. A good thing to remember if your child becomes injured is the word “RICE”; Rest, ice, compression and elevation.

Common injuries in the game of basketball include sprains,strains, bruises and cuts, as well as some fractures. It is safe to play with eye protection, elbow and knee pads, and mouth guard.

In the game of track and field, common injuries tend to be strains, sprains, scrapes and falls. It is safest to play with proper shoes, wear sunscreen, and drink plenty of water.

Proper coaching is ideal in preventing injuries.

When it comes to football, common injuries can be bruises, strains, tears to certain ligaments, lots of bruises, scrapes, and cuts, concussion, and back injuries. It is ideal that one wears a helmet, mouth guard, shoulder pads, pads, shin guards, proper shoes, sunscreen, and drink water. The proper use of safety equipment can prevent injuries.
When it comes to baseball and softball, the common injuries include: fractures, tissue strains, and sunburn. It is safest to play with a batting helmet, shin guards, elbow guards, cleats, a mouth guard, sunscreen and a hat. To prevent injuries, please warm up before starting to play.

In the game of soccer, commons injuries tend to be headaches, cuts and scrapes, sunburn, and bruises, as well as the occasion sprain. Safest playing with shin guards, athletic supporters for males, cleats, sunscreen, water. To prevent injuries, do different warm ups before starting the game.

In the sport of gymnastics, the common injuries tend to be sprains and strains of soft tissue. Injuries can be prevented by proper warm ups.

Overall physical activity is something our body needs. Encourage kids to get out and get active. Not only does it the heart and soul good, but it helps prevent obesity. It wouldn’t hurt to be certified in first aid and CPR!

Risky Business: Over-Training Preteens

Faster, stronger, tougher, smarter are some of the words used to describe the modern athlete. For many, these traits are programmed into their psyche and forged into the muscles of their young bodies with ruthless efficiency. It is a process that seems to start at an earlier and earlier age as time progresses, and the high dollar demand for the next super athlete frenzies into a deafening roar.

The phenomenon of preteen over-training is so widespread; there are now many mainstream studies available all over the internet showing how detrimental its effects can be towards today’s youth. In fact, Dr. Lyle Micheli at the Children’s Hospital Boston even provided this study which included warning signs for over-training, Over Training In Youth Sports

Some of the major documented signs of over-training in preteens include:

• Lack of motivation to practice
• Getting tired easily
• Irritability and unwillingness to cooperate with teammates

Dr. Micheli goes on to explain that often times even when warning signs are readily apparent, it is a natural tendency for parents and coaches to push the child even harder when confronted those symptoms.

Dr. Micheli’s sentiments are echoed by yet another medical professional in an article posted to

In this piece, Dr. Elizabeth Szalay, a pediatric orthopedic surgeon at Carrie Tingley Hospital goes into detail about the differences between preteen and adult athletes. She notes that while adults can push themselves to higher and higher levels of performance, there is a finite point in children which can’t be exceeded without harming what is known as the growth plate.

The difference is in the bone structure. While adults have fully matured bones, children have growth plates made up of cartilage cells capping the bones of their bodies. Too much pressure and repetition can often lead to injury due to the soft and vulnerable nature of those plates.
Contributor Cassie Dionne takes the argument against over-training even further in this article featured on

Dionne challenges the reader to think of injuries as neglect because by definition, neglect is failing to care for something properly. She goes on to argue that damage done at early ages is not only affecting their overall athletic potential, but also their life in general.

In that context, and with the understanding of the enormous pressure being imposed upon young athletes by parents, coaches, organizations, and professionals it is incumbent upon society to take a more responsible approach to youth training.

Avoid Youth Injuries And Burnout

You read and hear about it almost every day: today’s kids just like to sit around and play video games. Of course, this isn’t entirely true. If you pass by any soccer or baseball field on a nice Saturday morning, you’re likely to find kids playing sports. That’s the good news. The bad news is that many of them will burnout as they get older. And why won’t those video game enthusiasts consider playing sports?

It all begins with a very simple word: fun. For example, if you do something that’s fun, are you likely to continue doing it? Yes. If you do something that isn’t fun and involves a lot of pressure, are you likely to keep doing it? No. It’s recommended that you take examples from your own life and apply them to the situation your kids are in regarding sports. Then you will have an opportunity to see things from their perspective.

In many cases, a parent wants a child to be just like them. For instance, if you grew up with a passion for baseball, then you will probably want your child to play baseball. Despite his consistent attempts to tell you that he prefers soccer, you keep pushing him toward baseball. What ends up happening? He hates baseball because he’s forced to play it, and he never gets a real chance to play the sport he’s most passionate about: soccer. By the time he’s older, he develops a dislike for sports, which then leads him toward a sedentary lifestyle as an adult. This, in turn, increases his odds for heart disease and other dangerous health conditions. As a parent, you have the power to take the first step toward helping your child simply by listening to him.

All that said, there is a catch. When your child is young, you do want him (or her) to play many different sports, at least for one to two years. This will keep sports fresh, and it will allow them to determine which sport(s) they want to continue playing as they get older. If you were to only stick to one sport, then a young child is likely to grow tired of the same drills and game situations, which can lead to burnout. The key here is to listen to your child after that sampling period of various sports. Once they decided which one, two, or three sports are their favorites, let them focus on those sports going forward.

Another key factor here related to burnout is expectations. It’s important to remember that very few kids receive athletic scholarships from universities. Even fewer make it to a professional level. Therefore, it’s important not to put pressure on your kids in regards to performance. If you do, they won’t enjoy the sport.

When it comes to injuries, it’s impossible to prevent them, but it is possible to reduce the risk of them. The first and most obvious tactic is to watch your child during a game. If his energy level seems abnormally low, then you need to take him out of the game to monitor him. This can mean that he’s running a fever and shouldn’t be playing. It can also mean that he’s suffering from heat exhaustion, which is very common in youth sports due to parents and coaches thinking kids can handle the same energy output as them. Excessive energy output on the field can also lead to other types of injuries, which are preventable.

A parent won’t always be at practice. If that’s the case for you, then be sure to ask the coach for a practice schedule. If the coach is wise, then he will realize that younger kids should be practicing once or twice per week. This will prevent burnout. A good coach will also hide skill lessons in drills disguised as games. This is a highly effective approach because it keeps the kids engaged while they’re learning. It will also lead to enjoyment, which will then lead to the child wanting to continue the sport. If he continues to play sports, then he will remain healthy and active throughout his life.

Believe it or not, it all starts with good parenting and coaching. Therefore, it’s up to you to lead your kids in the right direction when it comes to sports and physical activity. Make it fun and they will stick with it.

Qualities to look for in a coach

One of the most important ways to improve the youth sports experience is to ensure that youth receive high quality coaching. This doesn’t require that your coach have years of coaching experience, but they should know how the game they are coaching works. Perhaps they have experience playing the sport or they have read a lot about the sport. Your coach should also display extremely high emotional intelligence. They need to know what will and will not motivate the players on their team. Being able to connect with players is a critical skill for all youth sports coaches as it ensures that their players will be motivated.