App helps kids get physical

WABC-TV--New York—January 4, 2013

Doctors are seeing a record number of sports injuries in kids, because more kids are playing sports for more hours and more competitively. So the Pediatric Academy decided to do something hi-tech about it and create an app on injury prevention.

Andy Viviano, 16, and his 12-year-old brother Joey are not couch potatoes playing a video game. They've been athletes since they were young, and their accumulated paraphernalia of sports fills their living room. What they're reviewing on their tablet is an app that's helping them strength train without injury. The app is called Ironkids, and was developed by Ironman tri-athlete Dr. Jordan Metzl, a sports medicine physician at Hospital for Special Surgery.

Dr. Jordan Metzl on

"I'm tired of seeing kids in the office with sports injuries and so the idea is to teach parents how to make sports safer for their kids," he said.

The app has videos to demonstrate safe strengthening exercises, and diagrams to explain them. Andy and Joey use the app on their phone as a guide.

"I would really like to avoid injury. It's terrible when it happens to friends, even opponents, it's terrible when you see it," Andy said.

"It's helpful to have the videos to show you what you're going to do rather than have something in your mind which is not what you want to do," Joey added.

The boys can customize the exercises to match each person's level.

Some people don't think strength training is good for kids, but in fact just the opposite it true. Kids as young as eight can do strength training. It makes their bones and muscles stronger. It makes them better able to play sports and it reduces their risk of injury.

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