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Parents Have A Major Impact On Reducing Kids’ Overuse Injuries

Over the last several years there’s been a growing consensus that some sport behaviors place a young athlete at risk for overuse injury: single sport specialization before age 14, playing that sport in training and competition more hours per week than your age in years, and playing more than eight months out of the year. Sport specific recommendations such as PitchSmart have also emerged.

What was previously unknown was whether following these recommendations actually leads to reduced injury rates. Recently published research indicates that parents who are knowledgeable of the PitchSmart recommendations and follow them with their young pitchers show significantly reduced injury rates compared to parents who were unaware of those recommendations.

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Risk Factors For Adolescent Stress Fractures

Stress fractures in adolescent athletes are unfortunately fairly common. Here’s an interesting recently published scientific study that aims to identify risk factors for stress fractures in adolescent athletes. The authors found several characteristics associated with stress fracture risk: lower than normal body mass index, four weeks or more history of shin splints, minimal involvement in weight training, decreased amount of sleep, daily stress, and low dairy intake.

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How Parents Can Monitor Their Child For Overuse Injuries In-Season

During the recent US Club Soccer webinar I participated in, I was asked this question by the host:

“What advice would you give to a parent of a youth soccer player regarding being proactive or reactive to injuries and overall health?”

 The question above was specific to soccer but the point I make here is applicable to all sports. By far and away the area where we can have the greatest impact with a sport that’s in-season is in monitoring for overuse injuries.

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