Four Rules To Prevent Youth Sports Injuries -- and Burnout

Injuries that result from youth sports are becoming more common. The injuries aren't just the expected bumps and bruises that come with being active, either. Pediatricians, orthopedists (doctors who specialize in the treatment of bones, joints and soft tissues) and physical therapists are seeing more serious injuries. These include ligament tears, which can sometimes lead to lifelong disability.

Also, many youth are dropping out of sports entirely, even before they reach high school. Sometimes it's due to burnout. Or the pressure from coaches and parents takes the fun out of the activity. So students who exercised regularly are no longer doing so. This is just as bad for overall health as a serious injury. Without the habit of regular exercise, children are far less likely to be active as adults.

So what can parents do to keep their kids healthy, safe and happy — both now and in the future? Here are four simple rules to follow.

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