Pediatricians sound alarm on overuse sports injuries
Children are prone to sport-specific trauma to the growth plates. For example, dancers, skaters and cheerleaders are vulnerable to ankle damage, while baseball and football players tend to injure their shoulders and elbows. Runners suffer shin pain and knee problems, while gymnasts are prone to wrist damage from repetitive weight bearing.
“The combination of repetitive use and skeletal immaturity puts these youngsters at high risk for injuries, some of them long-lasting, so it is really important that young children have whole-body conditioning and engage in a variety of athletic activities rather than one sport,” Valasek says.