It’s that time again… National Youth Sports Week runs from July 15 to July 21 and is designed to help coaches, players, athletic and recreation directors, association members, sponsors, parents and Congress raise awareness for youth programs and sports injury while promoting healthy lifestyles for all children and their families through sports. Every year, National Youth Sports Week celebrates PLAYS – Physical activity, Living healthy, Access, Youth development, Safety.
The largest organization in the country that serves the youth sports industry, The National Council of Youth Sports (NCYS), believes that participation in sports provides physical, social, emotional and cognitive benefits and that every young person has the right to participate in sports in a safe, wholesome and nurturing environment. Currently, nearly 70% of youth sports participants quit sports by the age of 13. Whether that is due to the lack of ability to pay for sports programs, overbearing coaches or parents or just not enjoying sports, the statistic signals a growing trend and one that the NCYS seeks to reverse. And the NCYS doesn’t overlook off-the-field issues either. They are committed to protecting kids in every organization and environment.
One area that Youth Sports Week focuses on is reducing sports injuries. Sports injuries in youth sports number as many as 2 million a year in the U.S. with 500,000 doctor visits and 30,000 hospital stays. Sprains, fractures and concussions top the list of sports-related ER visits. Add injuries on bikes and playgrounds and the number of injuries climbs to 3.5 million. That is a staggering number! Safe Kids Worldwide, an advocacy group, is working to change that and with it, change the culture of kids’ sports. Their easy to use resources are designed to help parents, coaches and young athletes understand sports injuries and ultimately, how to prevent them.
Initiatives such as Youth Sports Week gives adults and children the information, they need to take the precautions necessary to reduce the risk of injury. Some tips from the campaign include letting the body rest, adding preventive and strengthening exercises, and always following proper techniques. In addition, encouraging athletes to speak up about injuries, supporting coaches in injury-prevention decisions, and better educating parents and young athletes about sports safety are all important to the raising awareness and taking action against sports injuries.
If you or someone you love has experienced a sports injury, careful evaluation is the first step to recovery. We are here to help. If you would like more information about how Chiropractic Neurology can help you, please contact the team at the Georgia Chiropractic Neurology Center today.