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Sports injuries and kids: What a University Hospitals specialist wants parents to know

How much is too much when it comes to kids sports? And what puts them at risk for injury? A pediatric sports specialist explains the do's and don'ts.

CLEVELAND — Fall sports are in full swing, and some kids are even heading to the playoffs in the next few weeks. But then starts club and travel sports. In today's Mom Squad, we ask the experts: Are we putting our kids at risk for injury? And are we starting our kids too early?

Dr. Amanda Weiss Kelly, a pediatric sports medicine specialist with University Hospitals explains that starting sports early isn't an issue if you do it right.

“We do have a lot of guidelines around how to make sure kids aren't sort of overdoing the organized sports. So, one of the things the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends is that for every hour of organized play, that kids have at least double the amount of unsupervised play."

NOTE: To watch the entire conversation, check it out in the video below:

Just getting your kid outside helps with that, says Weiss Kelly.

In the U.S., about 30 million children participate in some sort of organized sports. And according to Stanford Medicine, 3.5 million injuries happen every year.

Many injuries occur when a child plays just one sport all year.

“And so, we, pediatricians, the American Academy of Pediatrics, we really discourage sports specialization early on. And we don't want a 10-year-old saying, ‘Well, I'm a soccer player and that's it.’"


Editor's note: Video in the player above was originally published in a previous edition of Mom Squad on Oct. 4, 2022.

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