Ask A Doc: The Benefits of Sports for Kids While Preventing Injuries

August 31, 2015

As school starts up again, more and more kids will be returning back to the field and playing the sports they enjoy. We all know the positive aspects of sports, teamwork, discipline, comradery, and exercise, in an age where obesity is increasing in our youths. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), participation in organized sports is on the rise. Nearly 30 million children and adolescents participate in youth sports in the United States. The increase in play has led to some other startling statistics about injuries among America's young athletes:

  • More than 3.5 million kids under age 14 receive medical treatment for sports injuries each year.

  • Among athletes ages 5 to 14, 28 percent of percent of football players, 25 percent of baseball players, 22 percent of soccer players, 15 percent of basketball players, and 12 percent of softball players were injured while playing their respective sports

  • Overuse injuries are responsible for nearly half of all sports injuries to middle and high school students with half of these being preventable.

As parents and coaches, let's keep these numbers in mind as we start the new school year. Some Injuries in sports are inevitable; however, overuse injuries that can be prevented, keep a good number of kids on the bench. The first steps in minimizing overuse injuries include the recognition of symptoms and understanding that our kids need time to recover properly before long term effects occur. Information regarding symptoms whether it be hip, knee, or shoulder pain can be found at as well as at Encouraging our kids to become stronger and more flexible through age appropriate strength and conditioning programs is the second step. Ensuring we give them the appropriate amount of rest, particularly our young kids who are still growing we can reduce their risk of injury. Swelling of a joint, difficulty moving that joint, pain that persist for more than a couple days or that begins to effect the athlete’s performance should be looked at by a medical professional. Have fun this year and be sure to remind our athletes to wear their respective sports protective gear, stay hydrated, and create an open line of communication so when injuries occur they can be treated in timely fashion and return to the field as quick as possible.

Christopher Alan BrownChristopher Brown, M.D. is the Medical Director of Sports Medicine for Rochester Regional Health. A specialist in sports medicine focusing on the shoulder and knee, Dr. Christopher Brown has had the opportunity to work at a variety of world class institutions while providing care for athletes both on and off the field. Dr. Brown completed his orthopedic residency at the top ranked Duke University Medical Center. Here he received training in all areas of orthopedics while participating in team physician coverage for two local high schools. Dr. Brown elected to pursue subspecialty training in Sports Medicine and was selected to attend the world-renowned Stanford University Fellowship Program in California. For one year, he trained with orthopaedic surgeons in the treatment of complex knee and shoulder problems. During this time he worked with elite athletes as he provided team physician coverage for the National Football League’s San Francisco 49er’s as well as the NCAA Division I Stanford Cardinal’s.

About Rochester Regional Health
Rochester Regional Health is an integrated health services organization serving the people of Western New York, the Finger Lakes and beyond. The system includes 150 locations: five hospitals; more than 100 primary and specialty practices, rehabilitation centers and ambulatory campuses; innovative senior services, facilities and independent housing; a wide range of behavioral health services; and ACM Medical Laboratory, a global leader in patient and clinical trials. Rochester Regional Health, the region’s second-largest employer, was named one of “America’s Best Employers” by Forbes in 2015. Learn more at