by Dr. Dan Ferrell, orthopedic surgeon

Today, kids are playing sports all year round and involved in multiple sports. Playing sports is great exercise, it provides discipline and encourages young athletes to achieve their best.

As parents, we want to see our kid score the winning goal or tackle the opponent on the field, but the pursuit of victory in any activity carries with it risks and responsibilities.

Coaches, parents and young athletes need to work together to manage the child’s health. That is why is important that everyone understands the risk with playing sports all year round and playing multiple sports at one time.

“Parents and coaches should monitor for overuse injuries. Look for an athlete who is complaining of pain in the muscle, tendon, or bone after practice or a game, pain while playing or during practice, pain during play that affects the young athlete’s ability to perform or constant or chronic pain, even when not playing,” says Dr. Dan Ferrell, orthopedic surgeon with the Sports Medicine Program at Overland Park Regional Medical Center.

Dr. Farrell, who is fellowship-trained in pediatric orthopedic surgery and sports medicine, says overuse Injuries are by far the most common types of sports injuries.

“These types of injuries can damage bone, muscle or tendons and can put a young athlete at risk for long term damage if not treated correctly,” says Dr. Farrell

Dr. Farrell says overtraining can lead to overuse injuries.

“A good rule of thumb is to have your young athlete participate in a single sport or team activity per season, train no more than five days per week and vary training exercises from day to day,” Dr. Farrell says.

Schedule times throughout the year to check in with your young athlete to make sure the game is rewarding and not overwhelming.

“When a young athlete experiences burnout, they have lost interest in the sport,” Dr. Farrell says. “As a parent, you need to understand what your child’s goals are with sports and make sure the activity is driven by the child.”

For more information on our Sports Medicine Program, visit oprmc.com/sportsmedicine