Keeping Your Athletic Children Safe From Sports Injuries

As a parent, keep your child playing the game they love by being aware of how to help prevent injury. At The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine, we see kids all the time who get injured during play or due to overly intense training.  

These tips can help keep your young athlete out of our office. But if injury or trauma should strike, we’re here to help them heal and get back to the game as soon as possible.

Acute injuries

Acute injuries are those that occur in the moment. Your child twists their ankle, pulls a muscle, or breaks a bone. While sometimes these are just an accident and a natural consequence of a rough sport, they can be avoided. Sometimes something as simple as a good warmup is enough to prevent acute injury.

Cross-training with activities not specific to their sport helps them maintain an overall body balance. For example, swimmers can benefit from running occasionally and soccer players might hit a flexibility class.

Plus, strength training to build power and stamina in all the major muscle groups helps your child be as stable as possible. When they have strong muscles, they can catch themselves from falling or stumbling.

Ensuring your child has all the right gear is also important. Mouthguards, helmets, pads, and braces as appropriate for your child’s event are essential. Proper athletic shoes also prevent injury.

Overuse injuries

Your child may acquire an overuse injury due to repetitive stress with little time between practices, leaving no time to heal. Shinsplints and tendinitis are examples of this injury. If your child complains about pain after practice, during practice, or even during rest, they likely already have an overuse injury and could benefit from extended rest and a consultation at our office.

Help your child maintain good physical fitness during the season and offseason. No matter how eager your child is, limit their sport-specific activity to five days per week. This gives their growing body time to rest and recover. Have them take at least one full day off per week.

When your child is just starting sports or coming back from the offseason, weekly training time should increase gradually. They should start moderately and increase training mileage, time, or intensity no more than 10% per week. 

Very often overuse injuries can be caused by biomechanical or structural imbalances. It is important that these imbalances be addressed.We have many strategies that can help your child avoid  overuse injuries that result in loss of play.

Burnout

Burnout can happen if a child starts a sport young and practices intently for a number of years. Allow your child to experiment with a variety of activities. They’ll gravitate to what they love and can specialize when they reach adolescence.

Keep sports play fun. If you’re always forcing your child to play or participate in an activity, it might be time for a break or a switch. Burnout can lead to sloppy play and increase their risk of getting injured.

Injury is often a side effect of sports participation, but you can minimize your child’s risk. While you can’t stop every banged head or painful elbow, you can keep your kid as safe as possible with proper training and practice.

Consult our team at The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine if you need recommendations for preventive exercises, proper shoes and athletic gear, and smart training practices. If your child should be unlucky enough to sustain an injury, we’re ready to offer physical therapy and other treatments to get them back to play as quickly as possible. Call our office or book an appointment using this website. 

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