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by KYW’s Dr. Marciene Mattleman

Jane Brody, writing in the New York Times, wishes that more kids would move away from their computers and iPods and devote time to physical activity. But many youngsters, encouraged by their parents and coaches are being pushed too hard, physically and emotionally.

Brody quotes Mark Hyman’s new book, Until It Hurts: America’s Obsession with Youth Sports and How It Harms Kids, reporting that every year 3.5 million children under 15 require medical treatment for sports injuries.

Physician quotes in the article suggest that at least 60% of injuries could be avoided by training and we are reminded that the goal of participation in sports should be “promoting lifelong physical activity, recreation and the skills of healthy competition.”

Playing one sport all year long or daily seasonal practice leaves no time for joints to recover. It’s recommended that young athletes have at least one or two days off per week.

But, don’t blame the kids. Brody asks us to watch two teams striving for a championship and hear the parents screaming—and not just words of encouragement!

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