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Kids, sport and injuries.

Some of you may have caught a recent episode of Insight on SBS entitled "Kids' Sports Injuries" on Tuesday 5th March. It was an informative session interviewing kids, families, physios, doctors, coaches and professional athletes.

We see our fair share of kids with injuries or pain and it can be a really difficult task to provide a diagnosis, despite thorough assessment, and the factors that impact correct diagnosis were well discussed in the episode.

The program also revealed some alarming statistics around injury risk for kids, for girls, for high risk sports like football and netball - and the combined issues around young women playing football (putting all the risk factors in one place!!).

This was concerning for the kids being interviewed, many of whom were left wide-eyed at the realisation of their unique risk.

Here is a summary of the discussion:

  • Young children are presenting with adult injuries. (9 year olds having ACL ruptures)

  • High level repetitive over-training is a key factor - young bodies need lots of rest and recovery, and during growth spurts this is particularly important.

  • Why? - younger people are taller, bigger with larger BMI's so possibly increasing the load.

  • Younger people have reduced agility before they start organised sport, due to reduced free play.

ACL Injury

There has been a 74% increase in those Under 25 having ACL injury and subsequent repair. This increase is most marked in the 5-14 year olds. This results in an increase in the risk of early OA (Osteoarthritis). The sports with the highest ACL rupture risk are AFL and Netball.

Females and ACL Injury