Study: Young athletes that specialize risk injury - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Study: Young athletes that specialize risk injury

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Sixteen year-old Umoja Robinson is a track star at Teaneck High School in New Jersey --  running 10 miles day.

"Seven days a week, yeah -- hard --  whatever it is, whatever the weather is, gotta run," Robinson said.

But now Dr. Jason Baynes with Englewood Hospital and Medical Center -- has ordered him off the field because of a stress fracture.

Loyola University researchers studied more than 1,200 patients between the ages of 8-18.
They found young athletes like Robinson who train intensively in one sport are more likely to suffer stress fractures and other serious overuse injuries.

"This injury usually occurs when a person has been doing the same activity over and over
again for a period for 9-12 months," Dr. Baynes said.

Experts say children and teenagers are more prone to get hurt playing sports because their bodies are still growing and not able to tolerate physical stress.

Doctor Baynes encourages young athletes to  take at least one day off from training each week. "Take a month off between seasons to let your body fully recuperate after a long season -- take less than a month, roughly 3-4 weeks," he said.

He also says children and teens should not play sports for more hours than
their age each week. So when Robinson  fully recovers he should not run more than 16 hours per week.

"There is no worse feeling than not being out there with your team," Robinson said.

His doctor expects him to be back on the track this spring.

Duarte Geraldino - CBS News

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