It’s time for another sports season and we at Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center want to ensure that your child gets a safe start. Below are some do’s and don’ts to help prepare young athletes to have a successful and injury-free season.
Do: start by making sure your child’s feet and ankles are in tiptop shape. Get any lower extremity pain or discomfort checked by our podiatrists, Dr. Victoria Foley and Dr. Constance Ornelas. In addition to assessing the health of your child’s feet, the foot doctor will also revisit the site of any previous trauma to be sure there is no risk for re-injury.
Do: ask the foot doctor about any accommodations necessary for chronic conditions such as plantar fasciitis or weak ankles. The foot doctor may recommend specific shoe styles or a custom orthotic device for your child.
Don’t: allow your child to go from zero to sixty on the physical activity scale. Many injuries, like Achilles tendonitis and shin splints, occur when children go directly from a period of inactivity to intense workouts.
Do: ask the coach a few weeks before the season starts to provide you with stretching and conditioning exercises and suggestions for how your child can gradually build up strength and stamina for their sport.
Do: get the right shoes for the sport your child will be participating in. This may be the single, biggest step you can take to prevent sports injuries. Get feet measured professionally and choose shoes that offer the proper support for ankles and arches.
Don’t: allow your children to wear passed on sports shoes. Shoes do conform to the shape and gait of the person who wears them. Putting your child in someone else’s shoes may do harm to their feet.
Do: check the conditions of the field, track or other surfaces where your child’s practices and games will take place. Speak up if you notice cracked pavement, uneven playing surfaces or fields that have many holes and divets. These can all lead to podiatric and other injuries.