Football season is around the corner and while most of us can’t wait for it to officially start, we’re already seeing overuse injuries in teen football players. And these are the kinds that are typically seen in adults. In the past, young athletes would play a variety of sports all year long. But now they are specializing in one sport, which increases the risk for overuse injuries. In fact, according to STOP Sports Injuries
, overuse injuries account for half of all sports injuries in middle school and high school students.
STOP Sports Injuries also finds:
- High school athletes account for an estimated 2 million injuries; 500,000 doctor visits; and 30,000 hospitalizations each year.
- 28% of football players ages 5 to 14 were injured while playing.
- Each year, more than 3.5 million kids under age 14 receive medical treatment for sports injuries.
- Injuries associated with participation in sports and recreational activities account for 21% of all traumatic brain injuries among children in the U.S.
- Children ages 5 to 14 account for nearly 40% of all sports-related injuries treated in hospitals.
Tips to Prevent Football Overuse Injuries in Children and Teens
The most important take-away though is that more than half of all sports injuries in children are preventable. How can you prevent overuse injuries this football season?
- Cut back the intensity, duration, and frequency of an activity.
- Adopt a hard/easy workout schedule and cross train with other activities to maintain fitness levels.
- Learn about proper training and technique from a coach or athletic trainer.
- Perform proper warm-up activities before and after.
- Use ice after an activity for minor aches and pain.