(From the American Academy of Pediatrics)
Most injuries in children do not come from broken bones. Instead, they are a result of inuries to ligaments, tendons, and muscles, usually strains (muscle injury) or sprains (ligament injury). Overuse is the most common reason for these injuries.
It is important not to ignore the damage of emotional stress caused by the pressure to win. Make sure to judge young athletes based on their effort and sportsmanship and emphasize having fun.
Some tips to reduce injury risk:
1. Take at least one day off per week from a specific sport to allow recovery
2. Ensure protective gear is worn and is fitted properly
3. Start muscle conditioning exercises to increase muscle strength
4. Stretch in order to improve flexibility, especially before and after games
5. Ensure form and technique is correct
6. Take breaks during the activity to rest
7.Drink plenty of fluids before, during and after exercise/games to avoid dehydration and heat injury. Wear light clothing and avoid playing in high humidity
8. Stop if there is any pain