Children are increasingly getting injured while playing sports, but a new report published in the July issue of Pediatrics suggests that children may reduce the incidence of injuries by participating in a variety of sports, avoiding intense training and waiting until puberty before specializing in one sport.
In the report, researchers noted that children are often prone to injuries from overuse, usually caused by intense or specialized training. Specialized training causes injuries because it puts repetitive stress on muscles and tendons. Training in one activity may also lead to the deconditioning of muscles that are not used in the specialized activity, which may cause further injury. Participation in a variety of activities may help children avoid putting repetitive stress on their bodies and help them to develop all of their muscles, rather than just the muscles used for a specialized sport. Intense training may cause children to over work muscles, leading to sprains, stress fractures, tendonitis and other injuries. Children should train for sports and other activities gradually, avoid intense workouts and participate in a variety of activities to reduce the risk of injuries.