Children may be suffering higher sporting injury rates than adults due to unsafe training techniques and excessive stress loads on developing muscles, bones and spines.
While parents have a responsibility to foster natural talent and encourage children to participate in sporting activities, care must be taken to ensure that children are not pushed beyond physiological barriers consistent with their stage of development.
Developing bones, joints and muscles can be easily damaged if a child is pushed too far. Overtraining contributes to accumulated stress on a child’s body which often increases the risk of accident and injury. The duration of training sessions should take into consideration age, gender, strength and skill levels to avoid stress fractures, joint sprains and strains.
Most importantly listen to the child, as they know how their body feels and when they need a break. We must remember that children are not simply “little adults” and the training regimes and sporting expectations suitable for adults are not always appropriate or safe for children.