4 Tips to Protect Your Young Athlete From Throwing Injuries (Video)

Take care of those young limbs and joints

More and more children are in throwing sports, including baseball, and we’ve got take care of all those young arms, shoulders and elbows. Spring and early summer is when doctors tend to see more overuse and throwing injuries, many of which are avoidable.

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The fact that children in high school and younger still have open growth plates makes it more possible to have injuries that wouldn’t occur in adults, such as collegiate and pro athletes.

You and your child’s coaches should take steps to safeguard your child against sports injuries. Some tips to help avoid getting hurt:

  1. Ramp up activity slowly. Many injuries can be avoided by ramping up activity slowly — making sure your child has a good grounding in building physical conditioning before play gets under way. Working out before the season is important so that your child doesn’t work too hard, too soon.
  2. Get enough rest. 
  3. Cross-train. Kids who play one sport year-round tend to overuse certain body parts and can begin to have issues. Playing other sports in the off-season, as well as cross-training, can help athletes use different muscles that can help them be better in other sports. Be aware, however of the risk of playing too many contact sports, as the risk of concussion can be high for athletes who participate in more than one contact sport such as hockey, football and wrestling.
  4. Don’t overdo it. Now more than ever, it’s easier to get as much training as an athlete wants in different sports, but sometimes more is too much.

Any amount of pain in a young athlete needs to be addressed. It’s important to never let an injury, no matter how minor it may seem, go three or more days without seeking medical attention.

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Paul Saluan, MD

Paul Saluan, MD, holds joint appointments in the Cleveland Clinic Center for Sports Health and Center for Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgery.
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