School is just around the corner and so is the start-up of kid's sports. But for some kids, last year's sports never ended. They play year round, with their parents hoping they get a college scholarship or even bigger dreams like their kid going pro. Today on NPR, Anders Kelto did a story about kids whose parents push them way too hard in sports. Not surprisingly it turns out that kids end up with anxiety and depression as a result.
Kids like these can also end up with foot and ankle problems since parents in all their zeal may encourage them to play through foot pain. Dr. Lavian and Dr. Levy podiatrists of Valencia, California have had to show parents x-rays of fractures before they'd take their kid out of the game.
Kids deserve better. Parents need to understand that kids who play sports are already more vulnerable to getting sports injuries than adults. Pushing them too hard and fast just increases that risk.
All kids go through a growth spurt and that isn't just their height. Their heel bones are also growing, and at a faster rate than their muscles, tendons, and ligaments. When muscles and tendons can't keep up with the heel bones they become stretched and cause injuries particularly when a kid is involved in sports like soccer than involves a lot of running and jumping. Although more common in boys ages 10-15, Sever's disease also happens in girls at an earlier age (8-13).
Kids who participate in sports are also liable to get other overuse injuries such as heel pain and Achilles tendonitis. Ankle sprains and fractures are also common.
Even if you aren't the type of parent described above, it's important to stay aware of how your kid is doing when they play sports. Even if they tend to blow off a limp, you shouldn't.
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