There are certainly alarming issues in today’s America with children who are way too out of shape, eating horribly, and developing childhood obesity. So smart parents are dedicated to getting their children involved in sports, so they can beat the trends and give their child the healthy life they need. That said, it may shock many to know that there are also higher incidences of injuries these days than we found in the past. But have sports become more dangerous?
Not exactly. Here are some of the reasons we are seeing more children injured in sports.
1. More Involvement
One reason is that more children are involved in sports more often, which is a bit counterintuitive when we look at child obesity rates. The thing is that plenty of parents are beginning to see how valuable it can be and want to make sure their child grows up healthy—it’s not quite enough to change obesity trends, but it is enough to impact a rising rate in injuries because there are still more kids playing.
2. Kids Who Are Not Physically Prepared
One of the most common causes of an increasing injury rate is that children are not as physically prepared as they were in the past. In other words, those same problems that cause obesity in children—mainly inactivity and poor diet—are adding up to children who lack physical strength and coordination. It’s great parents are trying to turn it around, but it’s important to get kids active early on, just as it is important to discourage overtraining in a child whose body is not prepared. It takes time to get fit.
3. Lack of Diversity
A common trend we are seeing these days are children who play one sport year round so that they may excel. While this may make them a better player and add up to winning streaks for the team, it can also leady to sports-specific overtraining. They may be better off playing a diversity of sports throughout the year and according to the seasons.
4. Parental Expectations
Another big cause of sports injury in children is parental expectations. Many parents dream of their child making it to the pros, and many push their children far too hard, resulting in overtraining or playing through minor injuries, which often turns them into bigger ones.
While it’s great to get your child involved because of all the life skills and physical competencies we get from sports, it should be more about health and fun than producing the next Kobe Bryant. They more parents change their focus and put it where it counts, the less likely injuries become.