Sports Medicine Q&A: How Can a Youth Athlete Program Help Your Child? By Sports Medicine, February 8, 2018 The Young Athlete Program at UPMC Sports Medicine provides personalized care for young athletes in preventing and treating injuries. Learn more about the program and its benefits. Q: What Is the Young Athlete Program? A: The UPMC Sports Medicine Young Athlete Program brings together a network of specialists that provides individualized attention for injury prevention and management. The goal of the Young Athlete Program is not only to treat athletes when injuries occur, but to focus on prevention and performance training to help them reach their full potential. Our team of experts use cutting-edge, evidence-based techniques to help speed recovery, and quickly and safely prepare the athlete to return to competition. Physical therapists, physicians, athletic trainers, sports performance coaches, and other experts focus on prevention, nutrition, conditioning, and sport-specific training, tailored to an athlete’s age and level of competition. For more information or to make an appointment, call 1-855-93-SPORT (77678) or visit UPMCSportsMedicine.com. Q: Why Screen Young Athletes? A: The screenings provided by our team of sports rehabilitation experts and can help uncover existing injuries and areas of weakness, and can help prolong participation in sports. Q: What Does Screening a Young Athlete Involve? A: These 45-minute screenings include: Flexibility Strength Functional movement assessment The results of the screening help determine if a young athlete needs to consult with a physician, participate in physical therapy, or consider sport-specific performance training. UPMC Sports Medicine has the expertise and comprehensive services to support young athletes. Q: What Age Does My Child Have to be in Order to be a Part of the Program? A: The Young Athlete Program is geared towards kids between the ages of 9 and 17 years old. Q: Are There Certain Sports That Are Part of the Young Athlete Program? A: The experts at the Young Athlete Program cover a variety of sports and activities. They include the following: Basketball Biking Cheerleading Dance Football Gymnastics Hockey Lacrosse Running Skateboarding Soccer Swimming Ultimate Q: How Can I Get My Child Involved in the Young Athlete Program? For more information or to make an appointment, call 1-855-93-SPORT (77678) or visit UPMCSportsMedicine.com. Q: Are Young Athletes More Susceptible to Overuse Injuries? A: Young athletes, especially those who specialize in one sport are susceptible to overuse injuries. Playing year round, on multiple teams, and focusing on one sport increases the risk of injury all while the child is still growing. Q: What Are Some of the More Common Injuries in Young Athletes? A: Young athletes are prone to a number of common injuries that include: Knee injuries Sprains and strains Achilles tendon injuries Shin splints Fractures and dislocations Overuse injuries Regardless of injury, the Young Athlete Program will work to prevent or treat any sport-related injuries. Q: How Long Should My Child Rest Between Seasons to Prevent Injury? A: It is recommended that children should rest between 10-14 days between sports seasons when playing multiple sports. However, if playing only one sport year round, rest should be closer to 4-6 weeks. Q: How Will the Young Athlete Program Benefit My Child? A: The Young Athlete Program at UPMC Sports Medicine offers an individualized and tailored approach to keep your child in the game. Our team is dedicated to helping athletes of all ages, injured or not, to return to play safely or stay in the game.