Q: When do growth plates close in females?
A: Growth plates are the areas of developing cartilage at the ends of long bones where bone growth occurs in children. The growth plates are weaker than the nearby ligaments and tendons. Growth plate fractures occur twice as often in boys as in girls, because girls finish growing earlier than do boys. By the age of 12, most girls' growth plates have already matured and been replaced with solid bone. Growth plate fractures often are caused by a fall or a blow to the limb, or by overuse such as repetitive throwing, not so much in strength training. And, most growth plate fractures can heal without any complications. Strength training is safe for youth after age 7 or 8 if it is done correctly by a professional using just body weight exercises or light weights within the right fitness protocols for youth. Strength training will not damage the growth plates if done properly. Olympic lifts should be avoided until a girl reaches physical maturity.
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