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More Kids Falling Prey to Sports Overuse Injuries
Date:4/9/2010

are a lot more vulnerable because they have cartilage that's soft, muscles that are weak and they're still growing," said Andrews, who noted that some parents also expect that if their child is injured, an orthopedic surgeon can fix the problem, whatever it is.

"Parents sometimes have unrealistic expectations that we can fix anything, but any injury carries the risk of late problems, like arthritis," he said.

"We can't prevent all injuries, but we'd like to do what we can to keep kids on the playing field and out of the operating room," Andrews added.

"We have to reintroduce fun to sports. Seventy percent of kids are quitting sports by age 13, a lot of them from burnout. Kids should be having more fun, just going out and playing," Smoltz said.

"If you're talented and you just play, it'll show," he added. "You can practice, but this shouldn't be a year-round job for kids."

More information

For sport-specific injury prevention advice, visit StopSportsInjuries.org.



SOURCES: James Andrews, M.D., orthopedic surgeon, president of the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine, and co-chair, Stop Sports Injuries campaign, Birmingham, Ala.; John Smoltz, former Major League Baseball pitcher and now a sports commentator


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