House Calls

FALL 2016

House Calls Magazine is a quarterly publication that focuses on health and wellness. It includes a wide assortment of articles with topics on the latest health and wellness information, nutrition, safety, lifestyles, and more.

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Page 17 of 54

h o u s e c a l l s { fall 2016 } 13 Speaking of Playing Fair … Pediatricians point out the risks of specializing in a sport too soon W hen it comes to playing sports, a new report from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says that for children and teens, the more variety, the better. Experts note that more children in the U.S. are specializing in one sport than ever before, many with hopes of obtaining college scholarships or an athletic career down the road. In fact, according to the National Council of Youth Sports, of the 60 million Americans between the ages of 6 and 18 who play organized sports, 27 percent focus on one activity exclusively. Pediatricians stress, however, that collegiate and professional opportunities are few and far between, and say that playing multiple sports can up a child's enjoyment of physical activity in general (a healthy habit that can promote lifelong physical fitness) and reduce his or her risk of overuse injuries. The AAP recommends that children wait to specialize in one sport until they are at least 15 years old, and that, for kids who do choose to specialize, parents work with their child's pediatrician to ward off physical and mental exhaustion. Finally, experts say children and teens should take one or two days off from organized sports each week, and at least three months off per year to focus on unrelated activities and unstructured play.

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