An increasing number of children take part in organized sporting activities, undergoing intensive training and high level competition from an early age. Although intensive training in children may foster health benefits, many are injured as a result of training, often quite seriously. This paper reviews some of the areas of research dealing with intensively trained young athletes, and focuses on physical, cardiovascular and muscular effects, sports injuries and psychological effects of intensive training. It is concluded that measures should be taken to modify present training and competition schemes to avoid the deleterious effects of intensive physical activity on these children.
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