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Fotonovella Provides Information on Sports Injuries

Guest post by Gina Cairney

Sometimes it may take more than cursory warnings to get youth athletes to understand the risks involved in playing sports like football and soccer, but a new booklet on sports injuries—with illustrations—might help get the message across.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) introduced a new bilingual (English-Spanish) booklet on sports injuries, according to a press release, through the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS).

The fotonovella, "Ana's Story", engages its readers in important health-related messages with its comic-book format.

The story follows Ana, a teen soccer player who sprained her knee, as a doctor offers Ana's family best practices on how to promptly treat sports-related injuries to avoid future complications.

Sports and physical activity have shown benefits in improving confidence, self-discipline, and deterring childhood obesity and other health problems associated with a sedentary lifestyle, but injury risks are more serious for young athletes.

Because their bodies are still growing, children are more prone to injuries. Children between 5 and 14 years old account for almost 40 percent of all sports-related injuries, according to the NIH.

Earlier in the year, two teams of researchers presented studies on how anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries hindered or ended the careers of youth athletes. One of the studies suggested that children who delayed treatment of an ACL injury more than 150 days increased their risk of developing long-term knee problems.

"Ana's Story" follows the success of an earlier fotonovella, "Isabel's Story" which provides information about osteoperosis and bone health.

"'Ana's Story' is a must-read publication for active kids, parents, and coaches. These family-focused publications represent our committment to providing culturally relevant health information," Dr. Stephen I. Katz, director of NIAMS, said in a statement.

Want all the latest K-12 sports news? Follow @SchooledinSport on Twitter.

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