Editorial: Youth Sports Injuries

Youth sports injuries are reaching epidemic proportions.

That's the opinion of Birmingham orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews, one of our nation's top sports surgeons.

His new campaign, STOP sports injuries, aims to combat this epidemic.

The main focus is injuries caused by overuse: strained shoulders in tennis players, frayed ligaments in soccer players and stress fractures in cross-country runners.

The overuse comes from a new staple from this generation: year round focus on one sport.

These injuries were rare in youth sports decades ago when sports specialization was not common place.

Societal pressures and demands drive the specialization but ultimately we as parents can temper them.

If a child is injured, they won't be able to play and evidence exists that this excessiveness leads to injury.

Rest is a good thing in all endeavors, including sports!