As the weather warms up, it comes time to dust off that catcher’s mitt, clean those soccer cleats and get out the bathing suits. There is a sense of excitement in the air. One that can only be described as Spring and Summer. During this time of year, many families will spend countless hours at the baseball diamond, soccer field, swimming pool and even the playground. But, did you know that this is also a time of the year when many new injuries can occur in your children?
In the United States, about 30 million children and teens participate in some form of organized sports, and about 3 million injuries occur each year, which cause some loss of time and participation. Almost one-third of all injuries incurred in childhood are sports-related injuries. By far, the most common injuries are sprains and strains. Obviously, some sports are more dangerous than others. For example, contact sports such as football can be expected to result in a higher number of injuries than a non-contact sport such as swimming. However, all types of sports have a potential for injury, whether from the trauma of contact with other players or from overuse or misuse of a body part. Did you know that most organized sports-related injuries (about 60 percent) occur during practice and not the actual game? Also, children who are less developed than a more mature child of the same age and weight are more at risk for injury. Hormones even have an affect of injury rate in children. Before puberty, boys and girls carry approximately the risk of sports related injuries. However, during and after puberty, boys are at a greater risk.
In preparation for this exciting time of year, parents must take precautions to reduce the risk of traumatic and overuse injuries in their children. Everyone knows that proper warm ups, stretching and cool downs are essential. But, did you know that dehydration is a major cause of muscle injury. Sports and other vigorous activities can cause excessive fluid loss from perspiration. Sodium depletion has also been associated with muscle injury. Loss of sodium, the most abundant chemical constituent of body fluids outside the cell, is usually a function of dehydration. To reduce the risk of injury due to dehydration, follow these simple rules.
1)No soda! Sugar will increase the rate of dehydration.
2)Drink 4-6 8oz glasses of water per day minimum.
3)Mix your favorite sports drink 50/50 with water to replace electrolytes including sodium.
Another simple step that you can take to help reduce the risk of injury is to have your child check by a qualified pediatric chiropractor. Probably more than any other health profession, chiropractic’s approach to health closely relates to the needs of the athlete. Most sports involve body contact, fast starts and stops and positioning that places an unusual amount of strain on the structural system. Pediatric chiropractors give special attention to the spine, joints, muscles, tendons, ligaments and nerves. Chiropractic is a natural health care method that stresses the importance of keeping all the systems of the body functioning efficiently so the player enjoys peak performance, minimum risk of injury and fast recovery. Many world class and Olympic athletes, as well as most professional sports teams, have retained sports chiropractors to provide care to enhance their performance.
Call our office today to set up a consultation with Dr. Beck to assess and correct the possible risk of injuries that your children may face this sports season. Dr. Beck is a board certified diplomat in clinical chiropractic pediatrics.