Playing a sport is a great way for children to find friends who stick by them through the good and the bad times. Unfortunately, for many young athletes, the bad times come more often than they should.
Nearly 2,000 children were brought to the Soin Pediatric Trauma and Emergency Center at Dayton Children’s in 2010 with sports-related injuries.
As a pediatric orthopedic surgeon at Dayton Children’s, in addition to traumatic sports injuries, I often see young athletes in my office with overuse injuries affecting the feet, knees, and spine. Many of these injuries could be prevented by proper stretching of the Achilles and hamstring tendons.
Young athletes must always prepare for playing a sport. Preparation should include:
o Warm-ups such as a five minute jog
o Stretching the major muscle groups of the body, paying close attention to hamstrings and heel chords
o Cooling down
o Properly hydrating the body by drinking water before, during and after playing
Wearing the appropriate gear for practices as well as games is also a key in prevention. Make sure equipment is the right size for your child.
Not all injuries occur in big collisions or in highlight-reel tackles. Many of injuries are the result of a lack of proper equipment and protective gear that doesn’t fit. Together, with our friends at Kohl’s Cares we can take injuries out of play!
Craig Shank, MD, is an orthopedic surgeon at Dayton Children’s. After receiving his medical degree from the University of Toledo College of Medicine, he did a fellowship in pediatric orthopedic surgery at Seattle Children’s Hospital in Washington. He recently joined the orthopedic department at Dayton Children’s and his special interests include pediatric trauma, foot and ankle deformity, as well as pediatric hip disease. When not conducting surgeries, Dr. Shank can be found skiing and running.
Hear from Dr. Shank