Kids are going back to school and soon there will be tryouts for their favorite teams. Jumping back into soccer, swimming, tennis, cheerleading, or cross-country carries with it some dangers, especially if your child hasn’t been terribly active over the summer.
What happens when your kid suddenly leaps from the couch and starts practicing two or more hours a day after school? Unless they stop and think about how to do it right, they’re going to be prone to injuries like sprained ankles, stress fractures, and tendonitis. Here are six ways to prevent them.
- Go slow and steady.
Before they even get out on the field, your child should spend some time conditioning their body, building muscle with strength training and agility training. Then, gradually increase the amount of practice time.
Kids are anxious to get out and play, so instill in them the importance of warming up their bodies with proper stretching. Don’t forget foot and ankle stretches.
- Make sure all equipment is up to date and in good condition.
That goes for the clothes your child is wearing, the ball, racquet, stick, or shin guards they’re using, as well as the field or court they’re playing on.
- Wear the right shoes.
Start with the proper shoe for the proper sport. Tennis sneakers are specifically designed to protect your feet from the side-to-side movements and sudden stopping and starting typical on the court. Running shoes wouldn’t give you the same protection and can cause injury.
A good fit is essential to helping prevent injury. Have your child’s foot professionally measured and buy a good quality shoe.
- Give them a water bottle.
Make it a large one and make sure they use it. Dehydration affects their whole body, including their feet, which can cramp up from lack of water.
- Monitor their attitude.
It may help your child prevent injuries just by talking to them about how to approach their sport. Emphasizing personal improvements and goals rather than just getting out there and winning can help keep them safe.
With just a little forethought and some monitoring as the fall sports season begins, you can help your child have a safe and fun fall season, free from sports injuries. If injury does occur despite everyone’s best efforts, count on Clifton Foot & Ankle Center for an accurate diagnosis and quality podiatric care. Call Kenneth R. Wilhelm, DPM at our office in Centreville, Virginia at (703) 996-300 or contact us online.