It's important that your child remains active and outdoors this season, but you also want to keep him or her out of the Emergency Department. According to the National Institutes of Health, pediatric orthopedic trauma remains the leading cause of injury and death among children.
Follow these tips to help decrease his or her chance of developing a sports-related injury:
Wear protective gear. Whether your child plays baseball, football, lacrosse or soccer, using appropriate guards or shields may prevent a serious injury. Choosing the right helmet, sports pads and wrist guards play an important role in protecting developing bones.
Maintain a healthy diet. Eating foods rich in calcium and Vitamin D such as cabbage, kale, yogurt, salmon and nuts can strengthen and boost bone density. Children should consume 1,300 mg of calcium per day and varying amounts of Vitamin D depending on their age. "Kids on the heavier side tend to succumb to fractures more frequently," said Vishal Sarwahi, MD, chief of pediatric orthopedics at Cohen Children's Medical Center. "Staying lean and active is important at any age, but especially for developing children."
Learn technique. Make sure your child understands safe sports moves. Teach helpful posture and form during practice sessions and speak to a coach or medical professional who may suggest safer methods.
Read the spring 2016 issue of Kids First.