Tips on preventing common sports injuries in kids

We all are aware that youngsters who participate in sports programs reap numerous benefits. These advantages include increased cardiovascular and also musculoskeletal health, the acquisition of skills like teamwork and self-discipline, and the development of lifelong healthy habits.

However, in order to continue participating in sports, we must consider how we can avoid injuries from developing. Here are a few suggestions from the children’s foot doctor on how to limit your child’s risk of a sports-related foot injury.

Are you aware that sports injuries can be the second most common reason for young children and also adolescents to visit emergency rooms? The large time youngsters spend participating in sports contributes to the high number of injuries they sustain. A child’s body is more sensitive to harm since it is still growing.

The body of a developing youngster undergoes numerous modifications. The mind and body adjust to the altered limb lengths, coordination, and center of gravity. The pressure and weight exerted on the feet are steadily rising.

Children’s bodies are still developing, and their lack of coordination and skill while they are younger enhances their sports injury risk. Your child’s feet and ankles will be treated by a pediatric podiatrist Orange County, who has specialized knowledge and training.

The following are a few common categories of sports injuries that happen in Children:

  1. Growth plate conditions

The ligaments and growth plates of growing children’s bones are very flexible. Growth plates can be replaced by solid bones when a youngster grows older. The growth plate may be damaged in any sports accidents or over time as a result of recurrent trauma and stress.

These diseases can affect any growth plate inside the body, but they are most common in the leg and foot.

  1. Strains and sprains

Soft tissue injuries can happen when tissues are strained beyond their physical limits. Children’s sprains and strains are widespread, and they usually affect the ankle or the big toe joint. A strain is a tendon or muscle injury, while a sprain is ligament damage.

  1. Overuse conditions

Overuse disorders affect both children and adults. The foot adapts when running, pushing, or jumping on it during sports, and it pronates and supinates. The leg bones can twist inwards and outwards as a result of this.

  1. Nail and skin injuries

When a nail comes into contact with the shoes, it might cause injury. An injury under the nail can result from pressure, resulting in a discolored or thicker nail. The stress of the nail just on nail grooves can irritate and penetrate the surrounding skin, resulting in an ingrown toenail that is painful and inflamed.  

How can you prevent such injuries?

  1. Encourage several activities

If a youngster focuses too extensively on a certain particular sport, particularly in the early stages, there is a higher risk of ankle and foot problems. Early training exercises, especially for children as young as 10, are ideal for developing good technique and movement abilities across a variety of sports.

If there is a strong focus on a single sport, repetitive overuse injuries can be more prevalent. Overuse of bone growth, which does not close completely until a child reaches 13 – 17 years old, can cause inflammation. 

These development plates are more vulnerable to injury compared to the ligaments and tendons that can support the joints when they are pressured.

  1. Warm-up

Warming up before a sporting event helps athletes of every age stretch their muscles and avoid injury. Young athletes only need to do light jogging and easy stretching activities. Stretching at a young age helps to establish a favorable pattern for future sports activity.

  1. Choose well-fitting footwear

The condition of a shoe is far more significant than the brand or price tag for optimal foot health. Even the costliest shoe will not sufficiently support your child’s feet and aid to prevent ankle and foot injuries if it does not fit properly.

Here are some suggestions for selecting your child’s sports shoes.

  • Shoes should be purchased in the afternoon, while your child’s feet are naturally swollen. (This reduces the chances of buying shoes that are too tight.)
  • Ensure that the child tries on the both shoes in the store, with sports socks also on including the laces tightened. To ensure good fit, try the shoes on for several minutes.
  • Allow a minimum of one finger’s width from the base of the longest toe when fitting shoes.
  • Consider buying 2 pairs of shoes instead of one pair so that the shoes are rotated to avoid quick wear.
  • An “all-purpose” sports shoe performs well for almost all sports in young children. A shoe designed for running is not suggested for “all-purpose” use since side-to-side movement can be more difficult, increasing the risk of injury in children.

 Why select any pediatric podiatrist?

In young children, even minor accidents can have long-term implications. A pediatric foot doctor that specializes in wound care can ensure that your child receives the care they need to return to their usual routine as quickly as possible and safely. You should not neglect even minor injuries of your child. 

By Alexander James

Beau Alexander James: Beau, a mental health advocate, shares personal stories, coping strategies, and promotes mental health awareness and understanding.