Children take to sports like fish to water. Almost as soon as they begin to walk, they are chasing balls, swinging sticks, and running races against siblings, friends, or nobody in particular! Children’s sports used to mean baseball, basketball, or football. Today, however, that has changed significantly. Children are now playing soccer, wrestling, tennis, hockey and lacrosse. The starting age for training in individual sports such as swimming, skating, track, and gymnastics grows younger and younger every year.
Millions of American children participate in team and individual sports, many of them outside of the school system, where advice on conditioning and equipment is not always available. Your podiatrist is available to provide tips for protecting your children while they remain active in sports this season.
What to Watch Out For
Parents should be concerned about their child’s involvement in sports that require a substantial amount of running and turning, or involve contact. Protective taping of the ankles is often necessary to prevent sprains or fractures. Parents should also consider discussing these matters with their family podiatrist if they have children participating in any active sports. Sports-related foot and ankle injuries are on the rise as more children actively participate.
Ensure that your child has the correct shoes for the sport they play. Perhaps even more importantly, make sure those shoes fit! Their feet grow quickly, and shoes that fit last season aren't likely to still fit when next year comes around.
Contact your podiatrist for more information on proper footwear and foot care for your child. Whether they are actively participating in sports, or simply walking to school, it is important to take extra precautions to protect your child’s feet well into adulthood.