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Sports Injuries Increasing Among Children [AUDIO]

More kids are getting injured during organized sports, and it could be your fault.

A brand new study of the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System finds an uptick in sports-related injuries among children over the years. However, a massive drop was registered in injuries related to everyday activities like bicycling and trampolining.

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Flickr User Brian J. McDermott

“The most likely reason is, certainly, free play has gone down,” said Dr. Marc Silberman, Director of the New Jersey Sports Medicine and Performance Center in Gillette. “Instead of playing stickball…most kids now are being picked up from school, put in minivans, and they’re transferred from activity to activity.”

“They’re playing multiple sports at once, continually throughout the whole year, without any rest or break in between that someone would naturally take if they were participating in free play.”

Silberman said the equation is simple – more sports equals less rest and more opportunity for injuries. Many kids, and their parents, don’t even get an off-day on the weekends.

Children should listen to their bodies and not what everyone else is telling them, according to Silberman. Their weakest link, normally, is their growth plates, which could ultimately fail if a child continues to play through injuries and without proper rest.

Silberman has advice for parents.

“If a child says they’re hurt, they’re sore…listen to them. You shut them down the minute they get that ailment or ache.”

He recommended more free play for kids, instead of more laps and organized competition.

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