More American children are competing in sports than ever before. Sports help young athletes (children and adolescents) keep fit and builds their self-confidence. Unfortunately, injuries are nothing new in youth sports, and a potential problem should not prevent these young athletes from participating as part of an active and healthy lifestyle. Parents and coaches can and should play a big role in helping these young athletes stay in the game (so to speak) by teaching them about common injuries within their sports and best practices for injury prevention.

All sports carry an inherent risk of injury. Fortunately for the vast majority of young athletes, the benefits of sports participation outweigh the risks. In general, the more contact in a sport, the greater the risk of an injury; however, most injuries in young athletes are due to overuse.

The most frequent types of sports injuries are sprains (injuries to ligaments), strains (injuries to muscles), and stress fractures (injuries to bones). Injury occurs when excessive stress is placed on tendons, joints, bones and muscles. Contact your pediatrician if you have any concerns about any numbness, tenderness or swelling and follow the recommendations below:

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