4 Ways to Prevent Kids’ Common Sports Injuries
By Danielle Kokochak
1:45 p.m. EDT
September 22, 2016
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For most kids, back to school means more than just a heavy backpack and homework.
It means after-school practices and weekend games. In fact, your child might want to be on the field playing even more than they want to be in the classroom learning. Christopher Ruhnke MD, of the TriHealth Orthopedic and Sports Institute, shares a few tips for keeping your child in the game this year.
Tip No. 1: Stretch Well Before and After Activity
Early in the season, children are more likely to suffer hamstring pulls, ankle sprains, and calf strains because their muscles aren’t warmed up or preconditioned. To help keep muscles primed for activity, stretch before and after practices or games.
When stretching, some common guidelines to follow include:
Exhale and extend the muscles to the point of tension not pain and hold for 20 to 60 seconds. (Beginners may need to start with a five- to 10-second stretch.)
Breathe evenly and constantly while holding the stretch.
Inhale when returning to a relaxed position. Holding your breath defeats the purpose; it causes muscle contraction and raises blood pressure.
When doing stretches that involve the back, relax the spine to keep the lower back flush with the mat, and to work only the muscles required for changing position (often these are only the abdominal muscles).
Tip No. 2: Hydrate
During the late summer and early fall, heat exhaustion and dehydration are especially common, so encourage kids to be proactive about staying hydrated.
Tip No. 3: Condition before the Season Starts
With everybody getting back into soccer and football, initially youre going to see a lot of strains and sprains, because people arent in shape and theyre going back and running hard.
Tip No. 4: Strength Train
As the season goes on, kids are more prone to knee and ankle injuries. There are programs that show you how to strengthen these muscles so you can limit these injuries, if not eliminate them.
While aerobic exercise, like running, helps the heart and increases respiratory stamina, it does not build much upper-body strength or tone muscles. Strength training, however, helps build muscle strength and maintain bone density for a persons entire life.
The complete article may be read at the URL above.
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