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  • Writer's picturePodiatry

Keep Kids’ Feet & Ankles Safe During Spring Sports

Competitive youth sports often require many athletes to transition from winter activities to spring activities without considering the increased risk of incurring a foot or ankle injury. Moving from indoor to outdoor playing surfaces with varying impact can stress a young athlete’s feet and ankles, and going from sport to sport without allowing time for the muscles and bones to rest can cause overuse injuries.



If your child plans to participate in a sport this spring after playing through the winter sports season, follow these six tips:


1. Get a preseason health and wellness checkup. A medical evaluation before the season starts can help identify any health concerns that could possibly lead to injury.

2. Take it slow. Ask the coach to gradually increase children’s playing time during practice and to avoid pushing them full throttle. Your child’s feet and ankles need to become accustomed to the activity level required for the sport.

3. Wear proper, broken-in shoes. Different sports require different shoe gear. Wearing the appropriate, well-fitting, broken-in athletic shoes can eliminate heel and toe discomfort.

4. Check your child’s technique. Watch for any changes in your child’s form or technique. Ask the coach to notify you if your child is placing more weight on one side of the body or is limping.

5. Insist on open communication if your child has pain. Express to your child athlete that s/he should inform you and the coach of any pain or discomfort as soon as it occurs. Overuse injuries, such as Achilles tendonitis and shin splints, can be subtle and can develop over time.

6. If an injury occurs, remember RICE. An injured foot or ankle can often be healed with rest, ice, compression and elevation (RICE). If your child complains of foot or ankle pain, s/he should take a break from playing and allow time for recovery.

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