Keep Your Kids Away From The Doctor: Four Sports Medicine Tips For Junior Athletes


These days, it seems like kids are starting sports at a younger and younger age, and the level of competition is getting ever more stiff. If you want your children to have a long athletic career well into adulthood, it's imperative that they steer clear of injuries and know how to take care of their bodies for the long term. Here are four tips to help you do just that.

Choose the right sport at the right time for your kid.

As much as everyone wants to think the world is their kid's oyster, not every sport is right for every kid. Football is going to be rough on a small, thin player, and ballet could be fraught with injuries for a kid with flat feet or bowed legs. Therefore, it's a good idea to have your child's body type and overall health assessed before starting a new physical activity.

A pediatrician or orthopaedic surgeon can check your child for things like

  • heart health (no murmurs or irregular rhythms)
  • pulmonary function (no asthma)
  • pronation/supination (the tendency of the feet to roll inward or outward, which can lead to tendonitis)
  • growth plate development and how much growing is still left to do
  • girls' hip-to-knee angle, which can be a partial predictor of knee problems
  • patellar (kneecap) tracking

You want to match your child's sport to their body type and maturity. Some kids may have growth inequalities with their peers, making them more prone to the risk of injury, and some teenagers may tend to indulge in more risk-taking behaviors on the field. Also, some sports see higher statistics for injury all around than others.

Protect the noodle.

One of the best ways to protect your child from a sports injury is to protect the head whenever possible. Obviously helmets, headgear, and eye protection can minimize head and face impact injuries. Additionally, know the signs of a concussion, so you can get your child medical attention right away if they do suffer a head injury:

  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • head pain or migraines
  • blurred or impaired vision
  • sleepiness
  • insomnia
  • babbling or incoherent speech
  • light sensitivity
  • extreme mood disruption (a normally placid child may suddenly become irritable, for example)

Think twice about enrolling your child in a sport with a known risk of head trauma, like football, hockey, and even soccer (heading the ball and on-field collisions).

Know when to say when.

If your child does incur an injury, don't let them return too soon to practice, games, or rehearsal, even though they may be pushed by peers or coaches to do so. They can still learn and improve by sitting on the sidelines, making notes about play, or watching game videos--sometimes even more than they can while in the thick of play!

Watch out for heat illness and dehydration.

Finally, heat illness and dehydration are sports injuries to be mindful of too. Make sure your child always has access to water during games, practices, and rehearsals. Teach them the early signs of overheating, so they can stop before it progresses to full-on heat stroke, a potentially fatal consequence of pushing too hard in high heat and/or humidity. Even minor heat illness can keep your kid out of practice for a week or so, making them more prone to other injuries when they do resume activity.

Contact a local specialist in sports medicine, like those at Tedder Sports Medicine & Orthopaedic Center or similar locations, for more information.


10 May 2016

Learning About The Benefits Of Exercise

Hi there, I'm Matt Wilson. I am an avid runner, biker and swimmer in my free time. I love my body and want to keep it as healthy as possible throughout life. I am inspired by people in their senior years who can still compete with the younger crowd. I hope to continue running marathons and biking down tough trails upon reaching my senior years. I will share my techniques for achieving while completing theses activities. My site will explore ways to stay in shape and maintain flexibility through exercise activities. I will discuss the benefits to your heart, lungs, joints and muscles. I hope that you will visit often to find inspiration to stay in shape. Thanks for visiting my website. Come back again soon.