The Pediatric Sports Medicine Specialist
A pediatric sports medicine specialist is a healthcare provider who helps children
with injuries caused during sports or athletic activities. These injuries could result
from players bumping into each other or a child working the same muscles too much.
A child could also fall on a hard surface and break a bone. If untreated, damage to
a child's tendons, joints, muscles, and bones could have lasting effects on their
Pediatric sports medicine training
Pediatric sports medicine specialists must have 4 years of medical school and 3 years
of training in pediatrics. They also must have 1 to 2 years of training in sports
medicine. Plus, they have to earn a Certification of Added Qualification through the
American Academy of Pediatrics.
These healthcare providers know that children are not "small adults." They understand
that the body of a child or teen is still developing and needs a different approach
Why consider a pediatric sports medicine specialist
More than 2.6 million children are seen each year in the emergency room for injuries
from sports and recreation. Pediatric sports medicine specialists not only treat these
injuries. But they also tell parents how to help prevent them from occurring again.
Some children and teens may find it hard to talk about what's going on with their
body. Pediatric sports medicine specialists are trained to treat children. They know
how to work with young athletes and put them at ease. Their offices are also often
designed with young patients in mind. For small children, for instance, they usually
offer toys and games that may not be found in regular healthcare providers' offices.
When to see a pediatric sports medicine specialist
These specialists treat common sports injuries in young athletes. These include:
Injuries to ligaments
They may also treat serious problems such as:
Tendonitis and other overuse injuries
Injuries to growth plates
Damage to the shock-absorbing cartilage
Concerns about nutrition or sports supplement use
Care of an athlete with special needs
Plus, pediatric sports medicine specialists can help with almost any kind of pain.
They can help with physical limitations that are making it hard for a child to enjoy
sports or exercise. They also have expertise with conditions that could affect a young
athlete's performance, such as:
These healthcare providers work in places like children's hospitals, private clinics,
and sports medicine clinics. You might need a referral from your child's primary healthcare
provider to see one of these specialists. Make sure you know what your health insurance
plan needs before you set up a visit.