Children and Sports: Protecting Growing Bones

The fall season is prime time for young athletes to be on the football and soccer fields. Keeping kids active is so important, especially with childhood obesity remaining a prominent concern in our nation. As a parent it is important to not only keep children active but to also monitor the level of their activity. Doing too much, too soon, or taking on more than their young bodies can handle may leave them with injuries and sitting on the sidelines.

In popular sports such as football, basketball, soccer, running, and gymnastics, there is a risk for young players to suffer injury to the lower extremities. Feet are crucial to any sport, but it can be forgotten that the bones of children are different than those of adultsthey are immature and still growing. In fact, growth plates dont fully mature for boys until age 15-17 and age 13-15 for girls. During childhood, repetitive stress and pressure could lead to a number of overuse injuries.

When children are involved in just one sport for an extended period of time, endure long practices in the high impact sports listed above, or play in inappropriate footwear, they are vulnerable to injury. Some of the more common ones we see in young athletes include stress fractures, shin splints, ankle sprains, fractures, and Severs disease. The latter is a common injury that causes pain and inflammation at the back of the heel where the Achilles tendon attaches to the heel bone.

A lack of treatmentor assuming discomfort is simply growing painsmay lead to chronic problems in the future. If your child complains of pain or shows a decreased interest in being active, contact Houston Foot Specialists for a thorough evaluation to find out what may be going on. The proper treatment will protect growing bones, ensure the right healing takes place if an injury is present, and help your child get back on his or her feet quickly. If you have any questions or concerns about your childs foot health, call Dr. Aleisha Allen at (713) 467-8886 or make an appointment at our Palm Desert, CA office through our website.

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Category: Foot Care for Children

Tags: Feet, Sports