Young Athletes Overuse Their Bodies and Strike Out Too Early
Nathan Littauer Hospital Commits to
Helping Young Athletes Play Safe and Stay Healthy
Gloversville, NY –– Leaders at Nathan Littauer Hospital are coming together with the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine, American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Medical Society for Sports Medicine, National Athletic Trainers’ Association, National Strength and Conditioning Association and Safe Kids USA to launch the STOP Sports Injuries campaign in the Capital Region, Mohawk Valley and beyond. Nathan Littauer is partnering with the Broadalbin-Perth Central School District to help get the word out about preventing sports injuries. “The STOP Sports Injuries campaign is proud to help support the work Nathan Littauer Hospital and Broadalbin-Perth School District is doing to raise awareness about the topic of athletic overuse and trauma injuries in today’s youth. We look forward to the progress their efforts will make in the local community,” said James Andrews, MD, renowned Orthopaedic surgeon and STOP Sports Injuries, co-campaign chair.
“Nathan Littauer is uniquely positioned to address this issue.” explained Laurence E. Kelly, Littauer’s CEO and President. “With our medical team, our Rehabilitation Team and our new Primus capabilities, we are fully committed to help our area’s youth as they participate in the sport of their choosing. With our region’s love of sports, we were compelled to take on this weighty, albeit largely unknown issue.” Joining the awareness campaign, is Stephen Tomlinson Superintendent of Schools Broadalbin-Perth Central School District, who said, “The Broadalbin-Perth Central School District Board of Education, coaches, and administration are very excited to join forces with Nathan Littauer Hospital and the STOP Sport Injuries campaign to raise the awareness of all Broadalbin-Perth coaches and athletes on the dangers of sport related overuse injuries. We are confident this initiative will result in a reduction in the rate of overuse injuries at Broadalbin-Perth.” Littauer’s campaign also has received some support from the coaching community. Johan Aarnio Head Coach of Men’s Soccer at the University of Albany when hearing of Littauer’s efforts added, “As coaches we must watch closely the tolerance level of our young athletes. Often this thermometer will direct us to alter, add to or eliminate practices and training methods for the sake of injury prevention. Common sense, knowing your athletes and your sport should lead the way in student athlete welfare.”
The campaign will educate athletes, parents, trainers, coaches and healthcare providers about the rapid increase in youth sports injuries, the necessary steps to help reverse the trend and the need to keep young athletes healthy. STOP Sports Injuries campaign highlights include teaching proper prevention techniques, and discussing the need for open communication between the athlete and their support circle, including coaches, parents, trainers and their physicians. Littauer will deliver a six-point awareness campaign in the coming months. The plan includes: two community seminars, development of specialized coaching trainings, healthcare professional training, and clip boards for coaches with tips about concussions, regular meetings with Athletic Directors, and “tips of the seasons” mailings.
“The signature piece of the campaign is a free seminar we are hosting this September for the community. The seminar Preventing Sports Injuries in Young Athletes will be given by some of the best physicians in their field.” stated hospital spokesperson Cheryl McGrattan. The clinic will take place September 15, 2010, 6:30 at the Holiday Inn in Johnstown and will be led by Dr. Gerald Ortiz, Orthopaedic Surgeon, Dr. Todd Duthaler, Emergency Medicine Physician, Dr. Richard Solby, Pediatrician and William Oates, PT as they address sports injuries in young athletes.
Driving the local initiative is Littauer’s Physical Therapist, William Oates. “I am extremely committed to this initiative” stated William Oates, Director of Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation for Nathan Littauer Hospital. He added, “Simply put, we need to educate our region about how to prevent our young athletes from becoming injured for life. I myself suffered as a young athlete with an overuse injury.” The hospital is poised to deliver information to coaches, parents, medical staff and athletes about prevention measures.
“Regardless of whether the athlete is a professional, an amateur, an Olympian or a young recreational athlete, the number of sports injuries is increasing – but the escalation of injuries in kids is the most alarming,” said Dr. James Andrews adding, “Armed with the correct information and tools, today’s young athletes can remain healthy, play safe, and stay in the game for life.” With Nathan Littauer’s help Dr. Andrew’s vision of a healthy athlete will be realized in our area.
Compelling Statistics on a Growing Epidemic:
There is a growing epidemic of preventable youth sports injuries that are dismantling kids’ athletic hopes and dreams at an early age. 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. This increase in play has led to some other startling statistics about injuries among America’s young athletes. Sports injuries can cause permanent damage and increase the chances of surgeries and arthritis later in life. If an injury does occur, early identification and proper treatment is the key to a successful recovery. Armed with the correct information and tools, today’s youth athletes can remain healthy, play safe, and stay in the game for life.
- High school athletes account for an estimated 2 million injuries and 500,000 doctor visits and 30,000 hospitalizations each year.1
- More than 3.5 million kids under age 14 receive medical treatment for sports injuries each year.1
- Children ages 5 to 14 account for nearly 40 percent of all sports-related injuries treated in hospitals. On average the rate and severity of injury increases with a child’s age.4
- Overuse injuries are responsible for nearly half of all sports injuries to middle and high school students2
- Although 62 percent of organized sports-related injuries occur during practice, one-third of parents do not have their children take the same safety precautions at practice that they would during a game.2
- Twenty percent of children ages 8 to 12 and 45 percent of those ages 13 to 14 will have arm pain during a single youth baseball season.3
- Injuries associated with participation in sports and recreational activities account for 21 percent of all traumatic brain injuries among children in the United States.4
- According to the CDC, more than half of all sports injuries in children are preventable.
- By age 13, 70 percent of kids drop out of youth sports. The top three reasons: adults, coaches and parents.2
- 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 sports4
- Since 2000 there has been a fivefold increase in the number of serious shoulder and elbow injuries among youth baseball and softball players.4
1. JS Powell, KD Barber Foss, 1999. Injury patterns in selected high school sports: a review of the 1995-1997 seasons.
J Athl Train. 34: 277-84.
2 Preserving the Future of Sport: From Prevention to Treatment of Youth Overuse Sports Injuries.
AOSSM 2009 Annual Meeting Pre-Conference Program. Keystone, Colorado
*American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, AAOS Now, 2009