Why Sports Are Good For Kids latest 2023

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Youth Sports: Weighing Injury Risks With Health Benefits

Youth sports injury statistics over the past few years have raised many flags for medical professionals and organizations like Safe Kids USA Overtraining, lack of preseason training and poor form are among the many reasons children get hurt.

However, this is not a total condemnation of youth sports. Recently, a study of 712 World War II veterans showed that those who participated in sports in high school were more active and went to the doctor less often each year than their peers who did not play sports in school. .

A few million middle and high school students suffer sports injuries each year. A Loyola University study looked at 1,200 cases of youth sports injuries; they found that 15% of injuries occurred in the lower back, an area susceptible to chronic pain in the general population. Thirty-nine percent of these injuries were serious, involving a fracture and/or misalignment of a vertebra, while the remaining 61% were considered “less serious,” including injuries to the lumbar and sacroiliac joints. It should be noted that these “less serious” injuries can lead to chronic pain later in life.

Lower back injuries can be problematic for the rest of life; this applies to injuries in other parts of the body also affecting bones, muscles, ligaments and joints. It is important to weigh the risks of school sports as well as the possibility that playing a sport will instill a habit of activity in the child that could benefit them later in life.

Reduce the risks, maximize the benefits

Sports are good for children in many ways; in addition to developing a healthy habit, they can teach camaraderie and build character. The CDC states that more than half of youth sports injuries are preventable. How can children avoid the risk of sports injuries while enjoying health and social benefits?

• Avoid overtraining. Children should not train every day. If your school team doesn’t provide adequate rest periods between practices or games, consider looking for more relaxed community teams. Also contact the school board if you suspect there is overtraining on your local school’s sports teams.

• Encourage children to be active between seasons. Putting their bodies into activity at the start of the season increases the risk of injury.

• Encourage cross-training. Playing different sports will allow children to use different muscles and joints, balancing their bodies and the forces they incur.

• Teach children to prepare for practice as they would prepare for a game. Warm up and cool down every time.

For more on the World War II Veterans Study, see http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131230101542.htm.

For more on the types of injuries suffered by young athletes, see http://loyolamedicine.org/newswire/news/lower-back-injuries-more-common-young-athletes-who-focus-sports-loyola- study-finds.

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