An alarming trend in youth sports is the growth of “professional-level” injuries among participants. Orthopedic surgeons see two trends: the number of youth injuries is reaching epidemic proportions and youth are experiencing overuse injuries at younger and younger ages. The high rate of youth sports injuries is fueled by increases in overuse and trauma injuries, and a lack of attention paid to proper injury prevention.

To address these issues, the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine (AOSSM) and its collaborators created the STOP Sports Injuries Campaign. The campaign is designed to help parents, coaches, healthcare providers, and athletes learn more about prevention, treatment, and long-term consequences of overuse and trauma injuries. Armed with the correct information and tools, today’s youth athletes can remain healthy, play safe, and stay in the game for life.

Overuse injuries impact young athletes in the short term and often lead to long-term consequences. This type of injury may become apparent during the course of play.  Using proper preventative measures such as pre-participation physicals, stretching, cross-training, hydration, and open communication about pain among all participants (coaches, athletes, parents, and healthcare providers) can help aid recovery and avoid long-term consequences.

It is important for everyone who plays a role in a young athlete’s life—parents, coaches, and healthcare providers—to put the athlete’s health and safety first and to quickly and honestly communicate issues of pain, injury, and the need for proper recovery.

Click here to learn more about the STOP Sports Injuries Campaign and the Athletes’ Toolkit, which includes sports injury prevention resources and the information you need to stay safe while playing sports and help you stay in the game for life!

In addition, players, coaches and administrators are educating themselves about the dangers of sport-related concussions. Please click here for more information and resources to help recognize and manage a concussion.

Questions or comments about student athletes and staying healthy?  Please contact Jeane Serino, the Academy’s athletic director, at serino.j@harrisburgacademy.org.