Protecting Our Youthful Athletes From Themselves And Injuries
It’s a parental thing. No one wants to see their child injured, but if your kids participate in sports at school, or in leisure time sport activities, injuries are going to happen. We pretty much accept that, but still wish full body armor was required. Foot and ankle injuries are among the most common, regardless of the age of the athlete. Having said that, what can be done to minimize the risks, and eliminate those unfortunate circumstances that could have been prevented?
- Make sure shoes are correct for the sport.
- Make sure shoes fit appropriately. Have someone well familiar with the type of shoe measure and fit the shoe. Shoes cannot be too tight causing corns, calluses, neuromas and other problematic conditions. If they are too loose, blisters and toe injuries can occur because of the friction from the foot sliding in the shoe. If the feet measure out to be two different sizes, go with the bigger size.
- Educate your child in the importance of good hygiene and nail grooming. Rinsing feet in the shower is not sufficient. They need to be scrubbed to remove harmful bacteria, and then dried thoroughly. Moist, warm and dark places are where fungus can get a toehold, and you don’t want that.
- Socks should be moisture wicking. Buy synthetic socks that have a heel knit in. Tube socks can get damp and bunch up, which eventually cause blisters.
- Protect your child’s feet from locker room disasters that are totally unnecessary, such as athlete’s foot and nail fungus. Use anti-fungal creams or sprays, and don’t forget the shower thongs.
Once your little one is ready to go meet his or her teammates, what potential injuries lurk on the playing field? The most common injuries belong to a class called “overuse” injuries. The constant running, jumping, and rapid starts and stops can cause:
- Sprains and strains
- Knee injuries
- Achilles tendonitis
- Shin splints
- Stress fractures
Make sure adequate time is spent on warm up stretches and exercises, and that proper training and conditioning are being stressed. For example, if your youngster plans on going out for the football team, don’t let him wait until the first scrimmage of the season before he starts conditioning. He should begin conditioning over the summer. If your child is injured, acknowledge that fact and seek medical treatment. Don’t dare to be great. Stop playing immediately or the injury could worsen, and ultimately they will lose more playing time. Use the RICE technique; Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation and call Drs. Brook and Northcutt from Dallas Podiatry Works at (972) 566-7474 or (972) 943-3323. Their expert hands-on care will help your youngster get back in the lineup.
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