Preventing Injuries in Young Athletes
By Stephen R. Farris
As a parent we get excited when our kids reach the age to compete in sports. Most kids start out around 4 or 5 years old in something like soccer or T-ball and the focus on on having fun and learning the game.
As children get a little older, sports can become more competitive and physical, such as basketball, football and hockey. The more contact kids are involved in on the court and playing field, the more likely an injury will occur. And if your child plays a lot, it's almost inevitable.
However, they may have heard a coach or parent tell them to just shake it off and they'll be fine. Unless it's noticeable, most kids may not tell you they are experiencing pain so it's important to have them communicate with you if something is bothering them. If the injury is left untreated at an early age while their bodies are still developing, it could lead to problems for them down the road as they mature.
Staying Aware of Injuries
This is especially important. They may look fine and try to be tough on the outside but hurting internally. Stress to your child as much as possible that they should let you know if they are experiencing pain after activity (or anytime) so whatever it may be can be looked at by a doctor or chiropractor.
Variety is the Spice of Life
Participating in just one sport can lead to your joints and muscles being overused by one range of motion. It's good for them to play multiple sports such as baseball, soccer or run track all in the same season. A lot of kids are usually involved in more than one sport during the week and on weekends, especially if they're on select clubs.
Rest to Play Another Day
While playing in one sport or multiple sports, it's important that kids have plenty of time to rest. This gives aching muscles and joints a little time to recuperate between athletic events and/or weekends when they are off. Plus, they should be getting rest at night as well.
Eating Well and Hydrating
A healthy, well-balanced diet is essential to help ward off injuries or help athletes heal a little quicker. Muscles and joints need nutrients and minerals from food to maintain strength and grow. Drinking plenty of water is a must for everyone. Kids may not like the taste sometimes, so adding juice from citrus fruits can give water more flavor and make it more palatable to drink.
To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in North Richland Hills, Tex.