Orthopaedic Surgeons Empower Young Athletes, Parents, Coaches to Protect Growing Bodies PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Sports & Recreation
Written by Lisa Weisenberger   
Tuesday, 03 April 2012 12:12
New PSA Offers Tips for Avoiding Childhood
Overuse Injuries

Rosemont, IL –– More than five million kids under the age of 18 suffer a sports-related injury each year with approximately half of these due to overuse, according to the CDC.  April is Youth Sports Safety Month and the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine (AOSSM), the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), and the STOP Sports Injuries campaign are teamed up with the release of a new radio and print public service announcement (PSA) on overuse sports injury prevention in kids.

Highlighted in the PSA is a common youth sport story:  A nine-year-old boy participates in baseball games and practices 12 months of the year.  He then plays on travel teams, on the local park’s little league team, trains with a pitching coach and then throws balls in his own backyard.  The games become increasingly competitive and result in strain to his young, still-developing body.  Then due to too much use, an arm injury sidelines him from the game he loves, and he instead sits watching his friends play.


“The escalation of injuries in kids, especially as they relate to overuse is alarming,” said orthopaedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews, past president of AOSSM and STOP Sports Injuries Campaign Co-Chair.  “Sports participation teaches kids priceless lessons about life, health and sportsmanship, but they need to be playing various sports, switching up their routines and armed with the correct information and tools to stay on the field and out of my operating room.”

AOSSM, AAOS and the STOP Sports Injuries campaign have several tips to share with all parents, coaches and young athletes to help prevent injuries:

  1. Schedule an appointment for your child to receive a pre-participation physical to determine any pre-existing conditions or injuries

  2. Encourage your child to properly warm up and cool down before and after an activity

  3. Obtain instruction on proper training and technique 

  4. Develop skills that are age appropriate, and increase training gradually. Recent research has shown that specializing in one sport at an early age can actually be detrimental to skill development.

  5. Encourage your child or player to rest and take a break, and to speak up if they are in pain or think they are hurt

"Young athletes want to be the best they can be, and they believe intense training and competition can help them achieve their goals.  Sometimes, however, this approach can have the opposite effect.  Frequent and repeated duplication of the same movement – whether in swimming, pitching, tumbling, jumping or serving - can produce an overuse injury that may jeopardize a child or teenager's sports career.  With a few adjustments, parents and coaches can help make sports fun - and safe - again for young people," said Frederick Azar, MD, second vice president of the AAOS.

Parents, coaches, athletes and healthcare providers also can help to increase awareness in April and throughout the year by getting involved with the STOP Sports Injuries campaign at www.STOPSportsInjuries.org, which is focused on educating the public about the rapid increase in youth sports injuries, the necessary steps to help reverse the trend and the need to keep young athletes healthy.

April Events
Help us spread the word about youth sports safety and injury prevention this April by joining in one or more of our events:

  • Webcast - Preventing Injuries in Youth Sports - April 17th, 2012
    • Our first-ever webcast, made possible by the generous support of DePuy Mitek, will be free and open to the public! It will feature renowned sports medicine professionals, including James Andrews, MD, Peter Indelicato, MD, Christopher Harner, MD, Lyle Micheli, MD and William Levine, MD presenting injury prevention strategies as well as an opportunity for attendees to interact through a question and answer session. Click here to register.
  • Twitter Tweet Chats - Youth Sports Safety - April 4, 2012 at 8 p.m. ET &  April 25, 2012 at noon ET
    • Have a Twitter account? Log-in or set one up and join us for two, hour-long Tweet Chats hosted by Dr. David Geier. On April 4th, we will be discussing youth sports safety and injury prevention, and on April 25th we will be focusing on concussions in youth sports. Follow us on Twitter or e-mail Joe Siebelts at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it to find out more! Follow the Conversation at #SportsSafety.

April also is the perfect time to host a community event to help promote youth sports safety. Register your event online and receive a free STOP Sports Injuries campaign starter kit, including 50 copies of each of our printed tip sheets, posters, stickers, tattoos, folders and more. To learn more or participate in these events, visit www.STOPSportsInjuries.org

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