The special edition on the thematic issue of ‘Injuries in the growing athlete-current evidence and trends’ is an initiative by the Sports and Exercise Medicine- Open Journal to contribute evidence-based data to the existing body of literature with the aim of gaining greater insights on the epidemiological aspects of youth sports injuries and their preventive mechanisms. While physical activity and sports participation in youth is a desirable behavior, it exposes the young athlete to the risk of injuries. The risk gets heightened further with the inclusion of competitive elements in training and competitions. With the rise in competitive youth sports participation, the risk and incidence of injuries are also likely to increase among young athletes. Currently, the youth sports injury burden has reached the status of an epidemic and needs to be positioned and dealt with as a public health priority. Therefore while on one hand sports participation is encouraged in youth, concerted efforts must be made to enhance sports safety and minimize injury risk. Despite over three decades of research on youth sports injuries, many epidemiological aspects still in the need of being addressed with robust and valid evidence. A larger body of evidence from different geographical areas and cultures is necessary to better understand the ‘real magnitude’ of the youth sports injury burden and its implications. In addition, there also seems to be a deficit in terms of the evidence related to age-and gender-specific data, the extent of exposure, time at risk, risk estimation, heterogeneity in research designs and data collection methods, risk factor interactions, and the approaches on translating the evidence into effective and sustainable injury prevention strategies.
Although the scope of youth sports injury prevention is broad and diverse, this thematic issue is an endeavor to contribute to the existing body of evidence specific to the areas in the need of greater insights. Manuscripts are invited from different fields of research related to youth sports injuries. Submissions are encouraged in the following areas but are not limited to
– Epidemiological research studies on injuries in specific youth sports e.g. football, baseball, hockey, etc.
– Age and gender effect on youth sports injuries
– Epidemiology of acute and/or overuse youth sport injuries
– Long-term effects of youth sports injuries
– Review papers on injuries in a specific sport or in youth sports in general
– Clinical case reports of youth sports injuries
– Short communication on youth sports injuries
– Preventive aspects of youth sports injuries