These are the top 9 questions parents ask about their child’s sports injuries. Hope they help keep your kids safe and enjoying all their sports!
Amazing fun this morning at the Monster Kids Triathlon in Keller, Texas. I am so proud of my daughters, Alex (12) and Caitlin (10). They worked hard, didn’t give up and finished with a smile! Donuts were the finisher prize this morning. The look on their face when they finished was priceless. They can now call themselves triathletes!
Dallas Athletes did a great job putting on the event and the volunteers were awesome. Imagine over 300 kids ages 4 to 13, separated into three groups; 4-7, 8-11, and 12-14. It was like herding cats to get them all to the starting line and then in the pool!
The littlest kids were adorable. Life jackets and a parent in tow are legal for under 7. Then they got on their tricycles or little bikes with training wheels and off they went for a one mile bike, then off the bike to run a half a mile. Just adorable were the smiling faces when they crossed the finish line and got their medals.
The older kids were much more serious and nervous, pacing the pool deck while the little kids got started first. Ages 8 to 11 had to swim 50 meters, and then bike 2 miles, then run a mile. Ages 12 to 14 had to swim 100 meters, then bike 3 miles and finish with a one mile run. The serious looks on these kids’ faces said they were not there just to have fun, but to compete!
The parents were an absolute treat to watch as well. It was very obvious that most were either runners or triathletes who had dragged their kids out of bed at 6am and were trying to infect them with the love of triathlon as well. It was great to see kids being dragged away from the video games and shown that competing can be fun!
Tomorrow morning there is over 700 adults signed up to race in the Sprint triathlon version of the Monster Tri. I hope we all have as much fun as our kids did this morning.
Run Happy….and Bike and Swim when you can!
Whew! Gear is all together and ready to go at 6am tomorrow morning. I’m excited. My first tri was at the age of 40! I’m glad my kids can get a taste of the sport I’ve come to love. The race is called the “Monster Kids Triathlon” and looks to be a lot of fun! They have competitors as young as 4 and as old as 13. Picture little kids on tricycles up to early teenagers. What a mix!
The adult sprint triathlon is Sunday, so we get to get up before dawn both days this weekend! I think I’m more excited then the girls, but my 12-year-old was telling everyone in school she was doing a tri and they were all impressed! Wish them luck! Will update with results and even pics!
Run Happy! (and Bike and Swim if you please!)
This weekend was the beginning of another recreational soccer season for the Grapevine Southlake Soccer Association. Unfortunately it was rained out! But that didn't keep my phone from ringing. Moms want to know why their kids feet hurt after only a few weeks of practice. Why does my child run funny? My daughter asked me if anyone ran normally after listening to me talk to lots of other moms. Good question!
Let's take a closer look. Your heel swings from side to side as your foot moves. When the heel swings correctly, your foot can flatten and regain its arch as you walk. (normal pronation with resupination) But if your heel swings too much, your foot may flatten more than it should. (overpronation) Over time, such excess movement causes many foot problems. And yes, some people do walk normally, but not many.
When the heel hits the ground, its outer edge touches first. Soft tissues (muscles, tendons and ligaments) relax. Your foot is able to flatten, adapt to uneven surfaces, and absorb the shock of touchdown. During midstance, your heel is below the anklebone, and the front and back of your foot are aligned. Your foot easily bears your weight. As the heel lifts, it swings slightly to the inside. Muscles, tendons, and ligaments tighten. Your foot regains its arch, allowing your toes to push your weight off the ground.
Too Much Movement Causes Strain!
When your foot flattens too much (overpronation), some bones are forced to support too much weight. The muscles pull harder on these areas, making it more difficult for tendons and ligaments to hold bones and joints in place. Over time, you may develop swelling or pain on the bottom of your foot or near the heel. When your foot flattens too much, the ankle and heel do not align during midstance. The foot strains under your body's weight. This aggrevates the growth plates and makes kids have foot pain.
Abnormal biomechanics causes overpronation. This is easily controlled with a custom orthotic. That is why most biomechanical foot pain and deformities are treated conservatively with custom orthotics. Change the biomechanics, decrease the stress and take care of the pain from the strain.
Custom orthotics with vigorous stretching can make your child walk as close to normally as possible. Some kids still run a little funny due to the growth process, but at least when aligned they don't strain and won't complain of pain!
So soccer moms, if your child runs funny and is complaining of foot, ankle, knee, leg or back pain....it definately can be their feet.
Let's check them out before the season becomes a wash!
This blog is a discussion of the recently published guidelines for the prevention and treatment of childhood obesity. Opinions are mine but the quotes are taken from published paper. The complete published guideline can be read at Medscape.
The Endocrine Society has issued practice guidelines for the prevention and treatment of pediatric obesity and has published them in the September 9 Online First issue of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. The guidelines were cosponsored by the Lawson Wilkins Pediatric Endocrine Society.
Southlake Track Meet
Age-group track visited Carroll High School today. The girls had a great time and both performed well. Alex came in first in the 10 & under shot put...now she thinks she is a stud! Caitlin did well in the long jump and 800m. Alex gutted out the 800m and the mile. A good time was had by all and the meet was done by 5 pm! Southlake has their act together. 1,500 kids and done by 5pm!!
As a mother of three girls, I know how fast children grow out of their shoes, lose them or just simply destroy them with every day usage. Sports are becoming more and more popular among children, even as early as 4 years old! My daughter Alex was playing 4 on 4 soccer at age 4 and started running age-group track at age 7! After watching other parents having bad experiences trying to buy one shoe to fit all and ending up with a child in pain; I realized that most parents really have no idea what a good shoe for their child actually looks like. On top of that, if your child is playing multiple sports, it's even more important to have sport-specific shoes at an early age. This will not only help them with their performance, but also helps to keep them from being sidelined with a sports-injury!
So what does a good shoe look like?
Running Shoes: Summer track is just around the corner and we will all be sweating at 100+ degree track meets with our kids. Running shoes for kids are few and far between, but should be cushioned with light stability. Brooks manufactures the Adrenaline in kids sizes and Asics has a few choices in small sizes with the Nimbus and the Gel 2130. New Balance and Saucony also have small sizes but are more challenging to find. Bottom line: the Brooks Adrenaline is a great middle of the road shoe at a good price. This will fit the bill for most kids unless they have a really high arched rigid foot which would do better in the Asics Nimbus.
If your child has proper running shoes, stretches before running and does not fall victim to the age old "too much, too soon, too fast syndrome" they should survive the summer track season unscathed! If they are following all the rules and are still having symptoms like heel pain, arch fatigue, shin splints, knee pain, leg cramps, and back pain; they may benefit from custom orthotics. A simple biomechanical exam can shed some light on the cause of their discomfort and help alleviate major issues when they are just minor! Contact the office for an appointment if your child is having issues. Most parents wait too long to seek treatment for their children's pain because they think it will just "work itself out."
Run Happy! Alex, Caitlin and I look forward to a great track season in the Texas heat!
For the full article:
The short version:
Strength training, or resistance training, is often incorporated in sports and physical fitness programs for children and adolescents. Some adolescents use strength training to improve their appearance by increasing muscle bulk. Depending on specific program goals, strength-training programs may use free weights, weight machines, elastic tubing, or the participant's own body weight.
The risks for strength training include those specific to young people with preexisting medical conditions as well as muscle strains, which account for 40% to 70% of all strength-training injuries. The most frequently injured areas are the hand, low back, and upper trunk. Most injuries occur on home equipment with unsafe behavior and in unsupervised settings.
Appropriate strength-training programs do not appear to adversely affect linear growth, growth plates, or the cardiovascular system.
General recommendations concerning strength-training in preadolescents and adolescents are as follows:
To ensure safety and efficacy, strength-training programs for young people should follow proper resistance techniques and safety precautions. Before the young person embarks on a strength-training program, the clinician should help determine whether it is necessary or appropriate to start such a program and what level of proficiency the young person has already attained in his or her chosen sport activity.
Until they reach physical and skeletal maturity, preadolescents and adolescents should avoid power lifting, body building, and maximal lifts. Overweight children may appear to be strong because of their size, but they are often unconditioned with poor strength, and they require the same strict supervision and guidance as do other young people undertaking a resistance program.
The AAP reiterates that athletes should not use performance-enhancing substances or anabolic steroids. Athletes who take part in strength-training programs should be educated about the risks associated with these substances.
Study taken from : Pediatrics. 2008;121:835-840
This article is part of a series on children's foot and ankle health. I thought some of my readers might be interested even though it has nothing to do with running. As the mother of three girls, I like child sfaety tips!
The rising popularity of flip flop sandals and Crocs shoes, has brought escalator safety concerns for children in the United States to the forefront. As a physician and mother of three small girls, a few questions came to mind. These two types of shoe gear have been lumped together as increasing risks, but is this a truly fair assessment? What is the truth about the risks involving our children and escalators? Is awareness enough to protect our children? Do the shoes our children wear on escalators matter?
Let’s start with a look at the numbers. In the United States there are an estimated 35,000 escalators with approximately 245 million riders daily. The Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that about 10,000 people go to the emergency room every year after accidents on escalators and 20 percent of these injuries involve entrapment of feet, hands, or shoes. That’s approximately 2,000 emergency room visits per year for such entrapments, which usually involve softer shoes or bare feet. The fact that these figures have been fairly constant for the past 15 years, long before the advent of Crocs, seems to nullify the idea that somehow Crocs are more susceptible to such entrapments than other soft footwear. Given the number of kids wearing Crocs today, it only stands to reason that eventually an entrapment would occur, as Crocs are not immune to rider missteps resulting in being grabbed by escalators, any more than flip flops, jelly shoes, sandals or soft running shoes.
What puts our children at risk? The fact that escalators are dangerous to small children has been well known for years. In fact, in 1997, in the Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, it was reported by a group of physicians from the Department of Pediatrics, New York University School of Medicine and the Pediatric Emergency Service, “Children are at risk for sustaining severe injuries on escalators. Young age, inadequate adult supervision, improper activity while riding on the escalator, and escalator-related mechanical problems all increase the risk of injury. Public and parent education directed toward escalator safety issues may help to reduce escalator-related injuries in children.” The largest incidence of injury was reported to be involving children between 2 and 4 years old (50%) with the average age being 6 years old. It should also be noted that 60% of children fell prior causing their injury.
The action of stepping off the escalator is associated with an increased risk of injury. Young children may remain standing on the escalator and allow their feet to slide off at the end, instead of actually stepping off. The small size of a child's foot may increase the risk of it slipping into the gap where the last step slides into the comb plate. While stepping off an escalator may seem like a simple and natural task to an adult, the developmental level of young children limits their ability to both anticipate and coordinate this action. In addition to feet becoming entrapped during the process of stepping off, children's small extremities may become lodged between two steps or between a step and the side-rail.
We can continue to ride escalators with our children if we follow some simple safety tips from the Consumer Product Safety Commission:
1. Loose shoelaces, drawstrings, scarves and mittens can become entrapped. Make sure a child’s clothing does not put them at risk.
2. Always hold children’s hands, just like crossing the street!
3. Do not permit children to sit or play on the steps.
4. Do not carry children in strollers, walkers, or carts. Use the elevator.
5. Always face forward and hold the handrail. If you fall, you put your child at increased risk!
6. Avoid the edges of the steps where entrapment can occur.
7. Always pay attention and alert while riding with your children, note where the emergency shut off is.
Prevention of escalator-related injuries is the key and efforts should be focused in two directions. Safety education for parents should include and give specific guidance regarding injury prevention about riding on escalators. Increased parental supervision should be encouraged, such as hand-holding or even carrying of young children while riding on and especially while stepping off escalators. Children should be taught not to run, play, or sit while riding on an escalator and of course, children should face forward and hold the handrails.
The bottom line about escalator injuries is that no matter what shoes a child is wearing, if the parents are not supervising them closely, injuries can occur. There is no specific correlation between shoes and injuries; they occur even in the best of circumstances usually due to inattention and children’s unsafe behavior. Parents need to be diligent about watching their children and following the guidelines to provide a safe ride for all children on escalators.
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