Forums: Climbing Information: Injury Treatment and Prevention: youth climbing and injuries: Edit Log


Jan 31, 2013, 10:00 AM

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Registered: Jan 31, 2013
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youth climbing and injuries
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I realize there is no clear answer to this question, I'm just looking for educated opinions, especially from climbers who started out pre-teen and are now past puberty and still climbing.

I am not a climber myself but my 9 year old daughter is. She has been climbing casually for several years and recently joined a climbing team at the local gym. She really loves the sport and always wants me to take her climbing when we have free time. On average she climbs 3 times a week at the gym for a total of about 5 hours and she pushes herself pretty hard. She prefers top rope and can climb 5.10 according to her coach. This fall she started participating in local bouldering competitions and enjoyed that a lot too. I am so happy she has found a sport she really loves and it is a lot of fun to watch her improve.

All was rosy but then I stumbled across this article:

In reply to:
Based on injury data, climbers younger than 16 years should not participate in international bouldering competitions and intensive finger strength training is not recommended.

The section titled Injuries to pubertal climbers' hands was particularly worrisome, for example:

In reply to:
No single trauma was associated with any of the fractures. Repeated micro-traumas causing fatigue fractures to affected area were suspected.

In reply to:
The long-term effects of high impact and stress on the finger joints of young climbers cannot be predicted, as there are too few longitudinal studies to understand whether such changes may lead onto the early onset of osteoarthritis.

So my question is, should I be concerned? Is 5 hours a week not enough training for this to be an issue? There are other kids her age that train almost every day so obviously there is a big range and the article does not define how much training is considered intensive or excessive.

I have told her that she should just be having fun, enjoying the sport and not worrying about competitions. I also told her she should let me know right away if she ever experiences any pain in her hands or anywhere else but so far she has not. Is there anything else I should do?

Thanks for your advice.


(This post was edited by atb on Jan 31, 2013, 11:57 AM)

Edit Log:
Post edited by atb () on Jan 31, 2013, 10:24 AM
Post edited by atb () on Jan 31, 2013, 11:13 AM
Post edited by atb () on Jan 31, 2013, 11:18 AM
Post edited by atb () on Jan 31, 2013, 11:55 AM
Post edited by atb () on Jan 31, 2013, 11:57 AM

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