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April is National Youth Sports Safety Month

We want our youth to be physically fit and healthy - but we want to keep them safe. Each year over 20 million kids in the US participate in sports and almost one million suffer serious sports related injuries. Sports related injuries account for 41% of musculoskeletal injuries in kids age 5-21 years. Most injuries occur in 13 year olds, who are immature physically, emotionally and intellectually.

Sprains, strains, overuse injuries and fractures are the most common youth sports injuries and children going through growth spurts or exercising without adequate rest periods are most vulnerable. Basketball, track, baseball, gymnastics, and swimming are the most common sports in which overuse injuries are seen.

Most worrisome, 300,000 brain injuries per year are sports related and 20% of football players sustain traumatic brain injuries. 8 % of spinal cord injuries are sports injuries. Children are especially vulnerable to extremes of temperature and there have been deaths of high school football players due to heat stroke. These injuries and fatalities are preventable - cancel practice and games during extremes of weather.

Experts recommend that kids involved in sports participate in a complete fitness and flexibility program to help identify imbalances and areas for improvement to prevent injuries.

Thank you adobemac for use of photo High School Football, Gainesville.
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