Prevent kids' sports injuries

To many parents whose kids are involved in sports, sprained ankles, pulled muscles and broken bones are all part of the game. But experts say many sports injuries can be prevented with some logical precautions.

At a recent meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons in San Francisco, doctors discussed the problem of children's sports injuries and how they can be eliminated.

For starters, young athletes should have a physical examination before the season begins, and issues such as growth spurts or size disparity should be taken into account. 

Conditioning exercises and strength training appropriate for the age of the child are also important.

Girls, for instance, often develop kneecap pain when participating in sports that require a lot of running, because of growth patterns that cause their hips to widen.  Proper strengthening programs can help to prevent related injuries to the knees.

Once kids get involved in sports, regardless of the shape they're in, they are often subjected to practice regimens more suitable for professional athletes and at a level that is inappropriate for student athletes.  Injuries due to overuse and excessive training are definitely preventable.


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