Worried About Sports-Related Injuries? You Are Not Alone

Courtesy of Stanford Children's Health

We all know it’s mentally and physically important for kids to run, jump, swing and kick. But for all the benefits that sports provide, it’s equally important to get the proper care when injury strikes. Here are some tips from Stanford Children’s Health’s Sports Medicine experts on keeping your young athlete in tip-top shape this Fall.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than 3.5 million kids under the age of 14 receive medical treatment for sports injuries each year.

Christine Boyd, MD, a pediatric sports medicine physician, is part of the new pediatric specialty partnership between Stanford Children’s Health and John Muir Health in the East Bay. She and her colleagues see a wide range of athletes in their Pleasanton Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Center. We asked Dr. Boyd to answer some common questions:


Why is it important to see doctors who specialize in treating kids?

Dr. Boyd: Young athletes are not just small adults. Growing bones and brains are susceptible to different injury patterns than adults throughout adolescence and young adulthood.


What are some of the most common pediatric sports injuries that you see?

Dr. Boyd: Overall, we see a large volume of overuse injuries involving joints, growth plates, soft tissue, and muscles. We also see a fair number of acute injuries and fractures to the extremities. Injury patterns tend to be seasonal, so as we head into the fall, we will be seeing more soccer, football and field hockey players with injuries.


Are there any trends you have seen in youth sports in the past few years?

Dr. Boyd: The biggest trend we see is more significant injuries at younger ages. Kids are spending more minutes on the field in game situations, where the injury rate is higher. More and more sports are becoming year-round.


Any last words?

Dr. Boyd: While playing sports year round is fine, young athletes should avoid playing the same sport year round. Playing multiple sports is essential in developing gross motor skills and preventing injury. This remains true through middle school. Youth sports can be a healthy, valuable part of childhood, and I want to make sure it stays that way!


Learn more about the Children’s Orthopedics and Sports Medicine Center at stanfordchildrens.org

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