Up to 50 percent of all injuries seen in pediatric sports medicine are related to overuse because the growing bone of a young athlete cannot handle as much stress as the mature bones of adults.
Keys to Preventing Injury
- Get a pre-participation physical
- Perform proper warm up and cool down before and after an activity
- Obtain instruction on proper training and technique
- Increase training gradually
- Wear proper fitting equipment
- Drink enough water
- Rest and take a break from multiple or continuous sports
- Dynamic Warm Up
Athletes should take at least one day off per week from sports training.
Dynamic warm-up involves continuous movement preparing an athlete's muscles and joints for a specific sport.
Examples of activities for a dynamic warm-up:
- Jumping jacks
- High Knees
- Arm circles
- Jogging in place
- Butt Kicks
62% of organized sports-related injuries occur during practices rather than games. Despite this fact, one-third of parents often do not take the same safety precautions during their child’s practices as they do for a game.
Tips to Avoid Overuse Injuries
- Limit training to one team during a season
- Train a maximum of five days per week, taking at least one to two days off from competitive athletics, sport-specific training and competitive practice.
- Take time off from one sport for two to three months a year, allowing injuries to heal
- Between sports training, work on strength and conditioning helping to reduce future injuries
Athletes should not spend more hours per week than their age playing sports.