Don't They Make Kids Like They Used To? : Recalling Stress-Free Sports Childhood

Question: When I was a kid, we would take a baseball and a bat and go to an empty lot to play ball. Except for a few scrapes, I can't remember anyone who was seriously injured while playing. Today I hear about kids with sore shoulders and tender elbows and stress fractures and other things that I never heard of. Don't they make kids the same way they used to?

Answer: It may be that adults are not the same as they used to be, and that this is having an effect on the youngsters. Dr. Philip D. Alburger of Temple University School of Medicine suggests that the kind of injuries you refer to can be traced to the introduction of adult supervision and adult standards into children's baseball. Some people tend to forget that children are not small adults, and that a training program that might be appropriate for an adult may be completely out of line for a physically and emotionally immature child.

Q: My niece had some sort of rash on her arm and her doctor prescribed steroids. The place where she applied the medicine is now lighter in color. It is on a part of her body that is not terribly conspicuous, but it is not normal and I would like to know if this is a permanent condition. A: The use of steroids for an extended period of time may result in a loss of color from the skin; however, this begins to change within a week or two after treatment with the steroid discontinued. It may take several weeks before the skin returns to its original color.

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