How We're Harming Young Athletes

Specialization and year-round play are putting active kids at increased risk of crippling injury

Considering the fact that 1 out of 6 youngsters in the U.S. is overweight, you'd think that any increase in physical activity for kids has got to be a good thing. But that isn't necessarily so. It's true that the earlier in life you make running, jumping, swimming and other physical activities a regular part of your daily routine, the healthier you'll be--provided that you keep it up as an adult. But the enormous boom over the past few years in soccer, gymnastics and other highly competitive sports for children has a dark side as well: an epidemic of sports injuries...

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