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Listen to your kids regarding aches and pains

My 17 year old son, Rob, came home from baseball practice the other night and announced that he had good news and bad news. The good news was that he is on track for 'A's in Western Civilization, Physics and Calculus. Good news, indeed. The bad news, however, was that his shoulder was killing him and the trainer shut him down for a few days. The diagnosis was a strain in one of the muscles of his rotator cuff. This was serious news to Rob, his mother and me. Rob is a catcher - a good one - and relies on his arm as much as a pitcher does his. Arm injuries turn good catchers into average outfielders.
I bring this up as a reminder to all parents of young athletes to not play doctor if your son or daughter tells you they are hurting, no matter how minor it may appear. Young people who are not fully developed have growth plates at the end of long bones that help determine the length and shape of the mature bones. If these become injured they could prevent the bones from developing properly.
I would encourage parents to familiarize themselves with the injuries their children could face in their particular sport. Muscle aches and pains are part of the deal, especially at the beginning of practice as they get in shape for the season. But any injuries that are lingering are cause undue pain should be examined by a doctor as soon as possible. Better safe than sorry

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