Injury prevention campaign targets young athletes

Apr 26, 2010

The STOP Sports Injuries campaign was launched recently by a coalition of organizations to educate athletes, parents, trainers, coaches, and health care professionals about the rapid increase in youth sports injuries currently taking place, the steps needed to reverse the trend, and the need to keep young athletes healthy. Program components include teaching proper prevention techniques and discussing the need for open communication. Featured are public service announcements; a Web site with information about sport-specific injuries; and “The Pledge” with which participants agree to become advocates for sports safety and adopt appropriate preventive measures.

The STOP Sports Injuries campaign was launched recently by a coalition of organizations to educate athletes, parents, trainers, coaches, and health care professionals about the rapid increase in youth sports injuries currently taking place, the steps needed to reverse the trend, and the need to keep young athletes healthy. Program components include teaching proper prevention techniques and discussing the need for open communication. Featured are public service announcements; a Web site with information about sport-specific injuries; and “The Pledge” with which participants agree to become advocates for sports safety and adopt appropriate preventive measures.

Initiated by the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine (AOSSM), the campaign includes a comprehensive public outreach program focused on the importance of sports safety specifically relating to overuse and trauma injuries. The initiative also raises awareness about how playing “safe and smart” can extend a child’s athletic career, improve teamwork, reduce obesity rates, and create a lifelong appreciation for exercise and healthy activity.

Orthopedic surgeons currently are seeing a rapid rise in the number of youth sports injuries and a drop in the age of young athletes who have overuse injuries, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, which noted that more than 3.5 million children 14 years and younger are treated for sports injuries every year. The high rate of youth sports injuries is fueled by an increase in overuse and trauma injuries and a lack of attention paid to proper injury prevention, according to the CDC, which suggested that more than half of sports injuries in children are preventable. (For more on the current increase in sports injuries in children, see “Musculoskeletal disease in children and teenagers: Addressing an emerging epidemic,” authored by physicians at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, and the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio.)

For more information, visit the STOP Sports Injuries Web site at http://www.stopsportsinjuries.org or contact AOSSM Director of Communications Lisa Weisenberger at 847-655-8647.