Injuries, risk factors and prevention initiatives in youth sport

Br Med Bull. 2009;92:95-121. doi: 10.1093/bmb/ldp034.


Background: Sports injuries in young athletes are a public health issue which deserves special attention. Effective prevention can be achieved with training programmes originating from the field of physical therapy and medicine.

Sources of data: A systematic literature search on injury prevention in youth sport was performed in the MEDLINE database.

Areas of agreement: For prevention programmes to reduce sports injuries, critical factors must be considered, such as training content, duration and frequency, as well as athlete compliance.

Areas of controversy: Home-based programmes could be inferior to supervised training, but are efficient if compliance is high. So far prevention programmes have focused on team sports and their efficiency in individual sports remains to be proven.

Growing points: Active prevention programmes focusing specifically on the upper extremity are scarce. Initiatives enhancing the awareness of trainers, athletes and therapists about risk factors and systematic prevention measures should be encouraged.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Adolescent
  • Athletic Injuries / epidemiology
  • Athletic Injuries / prevention & control*
  • Child
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Risk Factors
  • Sports*
  • Young Adult