from Ascension Saint Thomas
It’s time to “play ball!” for nearly three million children in the USA. But when kids hit the field, parents and coaches need to remember that winning isn’t the only goal; the safety and well-being of the young players should be the top priority.
Injuries in young athletes are on the rise, but elbow and shoulder injuries in children are on the verge of becoming an epidemic. Thousands of children are seen each year complaining of elbow or shoulder pain. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), the main cause of injury for these young athletes is overuse.
The conditioning and training of children is not the same as for adults. Kids are more vulnerable to injury than mature players. The best way to prevent injuries is by educating athletes, family members, and coaches.
Make sure to look for the signs and symptoms of injury or fatigue. Catching and treating an injury early will promote faster recovery. Proper conditioning, stretching and resting are key to preventing injuries in the first place.
Players may want to push through injuries for their teams, parents or coaches. However, continuing to play on an overuse injury will likely cause more damage, potentially sidelining the player for a whole season.