Skip to main content

Overuse Injuries May Rise When Kids Specialize in One Sport | Healthfinder.gov

share
Nov 07, 2013

Children and teens who spend twice as much time playing organized sports -- especially a single sport -- than they do in free play are more likely to be injured, according to new research.

"These injuries are purely from the amount of exposure without sufficient rest periods," said lead study author Dr. Neeru Jayanthi. "They're performing at adult levels in a child's body -- in a young, developing body. The constant use of the same parts of the body puts the same stress on the same part of the body over and over again.

"We looked at how much organized sports kids were playing compared to how much they played for fun," added Jayanthi, medical director of primary-care sports medicine at Loyola University Health System, in Chicago. "When that ratio got above 1.9 to 1 [favoring organized sports], the risk of injury went up."

The study included more than 1,200 children between the ages of 8 and 18. Slightly more than half were boys, and about two-thirds of the group had sustained an injury.

The injured athletes were slightly older, with an average age of 14 years compared to 12.9 years for the non-injured athletes, and they spent more time in sports activities.

Click here for the news story from healthfinder.gov

Click here for the abstract presented at the AAP conference

Research presented at medical meetings should be viewed as preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

The findings and conclusions in these newsletter materials are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the position of the Children's Safety Network.