Everyday, millions of kids are involved in sports activities. The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons says with the increase in sporting events these days, the number of sports related injuries in kids under the age of 15 has climbed annually to more than 3.5 million.
"We've seen a major increase in major injuries requiring orthopedic surgery. Just for example, in youth baseball, since the year 2000, we've seen a five-fold increase in major injuries to the throwing arm to kids high school age and younger," says Dr. James Andrews, with the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons.
Dr. Andrews say a big reason for so much orthopedic trouble in young athletes is overuse syndrome, particularly in baseball, where kids are playing or practicing that same sport year round. Instead of changing sports every season. He says quick diagnosis and treatment are important, but most important is prevention. If kids would warm up before any activity, then cool down and stretch after play, they could avoid life long medical problems.
The academy also suggests that since half of all injuries occur during practice, kids and coaches need to take practice just as seriously as games.