The SEMS Journal and the SEMS Education Committee have decided to publish an annual “Special Continuing Education Issue”. These issues are based on the contents of the individual SEMS postgraduate education courses and intend to serve as a reference body of work. We are honoured to have been offered the chance to premiere this series. Chronologically, we start with the younger athletes, children and adolescents, since this is the focus of the Abtwil SEMS course: pediatric sports medicine.
Physical activity plays an important role in the physical, cognitive and emotional development of children. Regular exercise promotes skeletal growth and development, strengthens muscles and improves cardiovascular function. In addition, exercise helps promote coordination, concentration and social behavior. Studies have shown that physically active children have a lower risk of chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. It is therefore of great importance that children are involved in physical activity and sports at an early age. It should be mentioned that it is also extremely important for children with chronic diseases to participate in sports according to their possibilities.
Since the child’s organism is growing and developing, the practice of sports medicine for children and adolescents requires special attention. Sports medicine care for children and adolescents is different in many ways compared to adults, challenging but also very exciting and rewarding.
What is different? As children are growing, so do forces and the lengths of the levers constantly change. In addition, growth plates and apophyses are susceptible to injuries that may be different from injuries sustained by adult athletes. The rhythm of physical maturity progression is highly variable, which is a challenge in training management but also talent selection. The communication is not only with the athlete directly, but depending on age and situation more or less in the triangle child/adolescent – parents – doctor and even quadrangle with additional inclusion of the coach. It is our task to support the children and adolescents in their quest for (competitive) sport and exercise, but also to protect them. We are thinking, for example, of the importance to recognize a RED-S or even situations where psychological and physical abuse are present. It is also challenging that, for example, certain standard values cannot simply be transferred 1:1 from the adult to the child. Pathological findings in the EKG or laboratory values of an adult may be regarded as physiological in a child. In addition to all these challenges, however, it is very rewarding to accompany children on their active and athletic path.
In this issue of SEMS-journal, we showcase a small part of pediatric sports medicine, which is of course much more comprehensive. We hope you will enjoy reading our journal and that it will provide you with some knowledge for the optimal care of children and adolescents in sports.
Dr. med. Daniela Marx-Berger
FMH Pädiatrie, Sportmedizin SEMS
9006 St. Gallen
Phone: 071 243 71 11
Dr. med. Patrik Noack
FMH Innere Medizin,
Medbase Sports Medical Center Abtwil
Swiss Olympic Medical Center
Phone: 071 313 70 20