Sports Injuries in Youth Athletes: The Past and Present Continuous Concern

Sports Injuries in Youth Athletes: The Past and Present Continuous Concern.

Regular physical activity and sports participation amongst youth is a desirable behavior to optimize growth, develop motor proficiency, prevent obesity, improve health, prevent
chronic diseases in later life and enhance the overall quality of life.

An interesting paradox reported in health and sports research reveals that while a larger section of youth is getting increasingly predisposed to less physically active and more sedentary pursuits thereby increasing the risk of childhood obesity and subsequent health problems, apparently the participation
rates in competitive youth sport has by-and-large been steady over past 2 decades.

Reports indicate that about 45 million youth aged between 6-18 participate in sports in the US
with about 75% of families having at least one child participating in organized sport. Furthermore, a 21% increase in high school sports participation has been reported over a 10 year period.

Similar high rates of youth sports participation has also been reported in other countries with 76.4% in
Canada, 60% in Australia and 83% children and adolescents in the UK participating in some form of extracurricular or organized sport outside of school hours.

Sports participation during childhood and adolescence is meant for fun, socialization and a well-balanced development. However, the inclusion of competitive element tends to shift
this balance and alter the priorities of sports participation.

The young athletes begin to specialize in a specific sport at an early age, undergo organized and intense training up to 16-22 hours a week all year round and compete at various levels of participation on a regular basis.

Sport Exerc Med Open J. 2016; SE(2): Se1-Se4. doi: 10.17140/SEMOJ-SE-2-e001