Wear the right shoes
It may seem obvious to wear sport-specific shoes such as soccer or football cleats, but when it comes to sports like basketball or various types of track, the right type of shoe becomes murky. Be sure you are seeking out not just any athletic shoe, but one built for your child’s particular sport whether it be a field sport, basketball, cross-country track, or otherwise. In addition, if your child’s sport has both indoor and outdoor training components, ensure that your child has the right shoes for both. For example, shoes designed for outdoor track might not be appropriate for indoor training. In addition, start the season off right with new shoes. Last season’s shoes might still fit but they also have suffered from quite a bit of wear and tear, and may no longer offer the support, cushioning, and stability needed for safe sports participation.
Encourage healthy habits on and off the field
While your child will be getting great physical exercise through sports, encourage healthy habits outside of the sports atmosphere to ensure that they stay healthy everyday whether participating in sports or not. Many young athletes feel invincible and ready to go without any warm up or stretching; however, warming up and stretching prior to physical activity, no matter how fit your child is, are important aspects of staying injury-free. In addition, encourage your child to eat a healthy diet, drink plenty of water, and get a good deal of rest. In fact, rest may be just as important as everything else, as it is during rest that the body recovers and rebuilds after physical activity. This rebuilding is important to support continued physical health and athletic effort.
Get injuries evaluated and treated right away
Just as many kids may feel that they don’t need to warm up or stretch, many also think they can play through pain or injury. Unfortunately, many coaches and trainers tend to reinforce this idea. If your child suffers from an injury, be sure to seek a proper medical evaluation right away to determine the severity of the injury and the proper treatment regimen. Follow your child’s physician’s advice with regard to treating injuries and returning to activity, and don’t let your child return to training and sports without a physician’s permission. Without proper treatment, even minor injuries may have big consequences both immediately and far into the future, including risk for reinjury and development of arthritis.
The podiatrists at Kansas City Foot Specialists are here to help support not only you but also your student-athlete. Call us today at (913) 338-4440 to schedule an appointment. We look forward to seeing you soon.