Health wise, researchers have come up with a pretty good formula to help protect our kids against overuse injuries.
This is because kids who specialize in one sport starting at a young age significantly increase the risk for overuse injuries. So, for three years, researchers at Loyola University followed 1200 young athletes between the ages of 8 and 18. They found those who spent more hours than their age playing one sport were 70% more likely to experience an overuse injury, like a stress fracture.
Those who spent twice as much time playing an organized sport than free play were also more likely to be injured.
The researchers recommend young athletes take at least one day off a week from training in sports, and not play sports year round.
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