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Sunday, 07 August 2022 02:09

Back to School - Keeping Your Children's Feet Safe!

FASCO backtoschool 1

School is starting back up soon which means extra-curricular activities. While it can be tough on your feet to drive them back and forth from one sport to the other, your kids’ feet are also under threat of injury! An estimated 35 million kids in the US play sports, and for good reason! It’s good for children to stay active. It improves their physical and mental health, teaches the benefits of teamwork, and establishes healthy habits early. However, despite all the good, sports can also lead to painful injuries. Doctors say about 40% of youth injuries are due to sports, and over 30% of school-age children will suffer a serious sports-related injury. 

These statistics are why parents should learn these three things: 

  1. Ways to prevent sports-related injuries 
  2. How to manage injuries that occur 
  3. When to take your kid to a podiatrist for a foot or ankle injury 

Best ways to prevent foot and ankle injuries in kids 

Your children’s growth plates are not completed until their later teen years. Their immature bones are more prone to stress and traumatic injuries, which means that overdoing it is very much a possibility in young feet and ankles. Overtraining can lead to serious issues. 

  • Before any athletic activity, warm-ups are key. This includes supervised and thorough stretching exercises. Afterwards, a cool-down is also necessary. Also, stay hydrated! 
  • Proper gear, including footwear specifically designed for your child’s chosen sport (or sports!), is a necessity to prevent injuries. At the start of a new season, it’s always good practice to head to the athletics store and have your child fitted for a new pair of shoes that provide support and stability. 
  • You can also help by examining playing fields before practices or games. Point out any divots, holes created by critters, or loose earth that could cause a sprain or strain on an unsuspecting kid running down the field. 
  • Finally, a preseason physical examination by a podiatrist is a valuable tool to rule out any underlying foot or ankle problems that could turn into lasting injuries. 

What if my child does get an injury? 

You should let your child know that if they are hurt, they should stop playing immediately. It may feel humiliating in the moment, but trying to “walk it off,” can turn a minor injury into a big deal. 

If there is serious pain or the foot or ankle is misshapen, get your child medical attention as soon as possible. In the meantime, the affected area should be treated with the RICE method: rest, ice, compression, elevation. Immobilize the injured area, apply ice, compress the foot or ankle with athletic bandages, and elevate it. 

If untreated, sports injuries could not only prevent your athlete from returning to the field, but could also turn into a chronic or lifelong issue. 

Keep your children’s feet safe and healthy by staying in touch with a podiatrist who is experienced in treating kids. At Foot and Ankle Specialists of Central Ohio, our foot doctors understand the importance of ensuring children’s feet grow and develop in a healthy way. No matter if your child is participating in a fall sport for the first time or is a seasoned athlete, they can benefit from having the support of an experienced podiatrist to prevent and manage injuries. Contact any of our offices in Gahanna, Newark, Columbus, and Lancaster, OH to request an appointment today!

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