Participating in sports has many benefits for teens and, at Benenati Foot & Ankle Care Centers, we’ve also seen instances where it can prove harmful to young feet and ankles. Take the necessary precautions to ensure that your child enjoys fall sports safely. Below are 5 important tips.
- Get old injuries checked pre-season. Before your child sets foot on the field or court, have one of our podiatrists Dr. Anthony Benenati, Dr. Neil Shaw or Dr. Adam Thompson your child’s feet to make sure any previous injuries are completely healed. If your child has heel pain or chronic foot problem, ask the podiatrist for recommendations about shoes and other means to prevent further injury and make playing a sport more comfortable.
- Invest in new shoes. Today’s sports shoes are designed to specifically accommodate the movement required by a particular sport. Even if your child’s shoes still fit from last season, it’s important to remember that shoes have a lifespan. The support that’s flattened out, stretched-out heel counters and worn treads can cause an injury.
- Choose a sensible program. Professional coaches know that the best way to improve safety is to gradually increase the intensity, speed, and duration of practices and conditioning sessions. A common cause of overuse injuries like Achilles tendonitis result from doing too much too fast. You’ll also want to be sure that your child’s practices have appropriate warm-up exercises and stretch as well as a cool-down period.
- Check the field conditions. Don’t be shy about bringing holes or divots in the field, rocks or uneven playing surfaces to the attention of the coach or organization. You’ll reduce the risk of ankles sprains for your child and teammates.
- Know what to do in case of injury. Follow the RICE protocol if your child sustains a non-emergent injury. Rest, ice, compression, and elevation are the treatment steps you can take until your child can be seen at our Macomb (586) 416-3668, St. Clair Shores (586) 779-6140 or Warren (586) 756-3338 office.