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Keeping Kids, Teens, and College Athletes in the Game and on the Field

Young athletes have different needs than adults. More kids are participating in youth sports programs. An increasing number of youth train for longer and more intensely. They specialize earlier, deciding to participate in only one sport, and train year-round. 

The skills kids and youth practice at young ages are also increasingly difficult.* You need a care team to back you up and keep your kids in good health. That’s why we have developed a sports medicine program specifically for kids, teens, and college athletes.

Injury in Kids & Youth 

Young athletes can be particularly vulnerable to injury. These injuries could include any of the following:

  • Fractures
  • Dislocations
  • Sprains and strains
  • Bruises and tenderness
  • Tendonitis

We treat children and patients up to 22 years old.

*Epidemiology of youth sports injury: a review of demographic and sports-related risk factors for injury, AME Medical Journal

Collaborative Treatment Approach to Prevent Reinjury

Our goal is to treat all aspects of the young athlete’s health. These include nutrition, sleep hygiene, mental health, and physical therapy to prevent reinjury.


Physical Therapy

Almost all young athletes want to jump right back into their sport after healing from an injury. This can put them at higher risk for reinjury. 

Our sports physical therapists understand the growing anatomy and specific biomechanics of young athletes. We work to get them safely back to sport as quickly as possible.


From a nutritional aspect, young athletes need to burn higher levels of energy. They have daily nutritional needs for their metabolic activity but also need energy for both: 

  • high training volumes and 
  • support for their growing bodies.

We work closely with our patients to help them develop best nutritional practices to meet the needs of their growing bodies.


We all need sleep to recover from injury. Young athletes particularly need more sleep than an adult athlete. They should be getting at least eight hours of uninterrupted sleep per night. This helps them both recover from their injury and focus on academics.

Mental Health

There is also a psychological aspect to an injury in any athlete. For many of these young athletes, a major injury can lead to significant time away from their sport. This can be like ripping their identity away from them when all they know is being a high-level athlete.

We help our patients understand all aspects of their injury, including the: 

  • physical injury, 
  • rehabilitation process, and
  • mental aspects of being injured. 

Our goal is to help athletes regain their confidence before they return to sport. 

Why Choose University of Utah Health

At U of U Health, our Pediatric Sports Medicine Program is centered around young athletes. We understand that child and teen athletes have different needs than adults. To make sure we provide the highest quality care, our physicians are double board-certified in pediatrics and sports medicine.

We understand the high demands and pressures of competitive youth sports. Many of the athletes we treat have gone on to professional careers in sports on national teams. 

As a care team, we have devoted our careers to treating only pediatric, adolescent, and college athletes. Our goal is to help them succeed because we love their energy and passion for their sport. They have the willingness to do what it takes to get better.

Find a Pediatric Sports Medicine Specialist Near You

What to Expect at Your Appointment with a Pediatric Sports Medicine Specialist

During your appointment, your doctor will ask you about your symptoms, injury, or what has brought you into the clinic. They will review your medical history by looking at any past injuries, treatment, or tests you may have had. 

Your doctor may also order X-rays, blood tests, or other tests. Their goals are to:

  • correctly diagnose your problem,
  • decrease your pain, and
  • determine treatment and rehabilitation. 

If you have specific questions for your doctor, have them ready to ask. Our team members are happy to provide any information you need to make your experience better.

Next Steps

If you think you could benefit from seeing a pediatric sports medicine specialist, make an appointment by calling 801-587-7109.

Referral Information

We do not require a referral to make an appointment with our specialists. However, you should check with your insurance provider, as they may require one.

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