Protect Children’s Feet during Fall Sports
During the fall season, there seems to be an increase in ankle injuries among young athletes. Football, soccer, cross country, tennis, volleyball, wrestling and basketball are some of the sport’s most likely to lead to sprains, broken bones and other foot and ankle injuries.
If you have children that are playing sports this fall, here are a few tips that could protect them from serious foot and ankle injuries:
- Buy the correct size and shoe for the sport.
- Different sports require different shoe gear; make sure your child is wearing the proper shoe for the sport they are playing. Also, make sure there is room in the toe box so their toes are not being smashed and injured while playing. If they wear a special style of sock for the sport make sure they are trying on new shoes with those socks on to ensure a correct fit.
- Have old sprains checked by a doctor before the season starts.
- A physical before starting sports can reveal whether your child’s previously injured foot or ankle might be vulnerable to sprains, and could possibly benefit from wearing a supportive ankle brace while competing.
- Have foot and ankle injuries treated right away.
- Though it might seem like a sprain, it is not always a sprain. Your son or daughter might have injured other bones in the foot without knowing it. The sooner the injury is assed and treated the sooner long-term problems like instability or arthritis can be prevented. If you see bruising and swelling then it is recommend to see a doctor within 24 hours, the sooner the better.
- If they are complaining of any foot or ankle pain that does not go away after a few days or flares with activity it is best to have it evaluated even if there are no signs of swelling or bruising.
- Check playing fields for dips, divots and holes.
- Most sports-related ankle sprains are caused by jumping and running on uneven surfaces. Walking the playing fields of public parks and schools prior to the game or practice is recommend to look for any spots that could catch a player’s foot and cause an injury. Alert coaching officials to any irregularities.
- Encourage stretching and warm-up exercises.
- Calf stretches and light jogging before competition helps warm up muscles, ligaments and blood vessels, reducing the risk for foot and ankle injuries.
- Eating healthy and drinking plenty of water.
- Make sure you are providing a healthy diet and that your children are drinking plenty of water throughout the week. Playing sports can dehydrate you which can lead to other problems. Prevent this from happening by replacing a sugary drink for water each day.
If your child experiences any injury call Dr. Hollander today at 707-578-1222 for an evaluation.