Fall Sports Do’s and Don’ts
At NY Foot Health, we encourage children and teens to be active. A sport or other regular physical activity is an important component of a healthy lifestyle that benefits your feet and the rest of your body. Without the proper precautions, however, participation in a sport can lead to foot pain and podiatric injuries. Below are some do’s and don’ts to help your child get off to a safe start this sports season.
Do: get a podiatric checkup before the season starts. This is especially important if your child has had a previous foot or ankle injury. The podiatrist will examine your child’s foot and may use x-rays or other imaging studies to assess the injury and see if it is fully healed. The foot doctor may recommend accommodations such as special shoes or a brace to protect a vulnerable area. If you don’t currently have a podiatrist, find one through our online directory.
Do: buy the right shoes for the sport. Sports shoes are designed for the foot movement required by a specific sport. If your child has shoes from last season that still fit, examine them carefully. Shoes have a lifespan. Discard shoes with worn heels or treads, damaged uppers, flattened insoles or that appear to be stretched out or show other signs of wear. Worn out shoes can cause ankles sprains, heel pain and other problems.
Don’t: use hand-me-down shoes for sports. Shoes mold to the foot of the wearer. Wearing someone else’s shoes may be setting your child up for an injury.
Do: encourage your child to get active in the last few weeks before the sports season starts. Starting an intense practice workout regimen suddenly can lead to shin splints, Achilles tendonitis, and other overuse injuries. Be sure your child’s program includes appropriate stretching before and after workouts.
Don’t: allow your child to continue to play if they complain of foot pain. “No pain no gain” and “play through the pain” attitudes can lead to serious injury and long-term disability that can sideline your child for the entire season or longer.
To learn more about how to be proactive in the health of child’s feet, contact us.