I’d imagine that when it comes to ranking our kids’ health issues, dealing with braces and acne are more often than not the biggest concerns. But if you have active kids, making sure they’re wearing the right shoes for what they’re doing, and for their own unique physique, can be as important and wearing their retainers or washing their faces.
April is Foot Health Awareness Month, and the folks at the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) have sponsored this post to help get the word out about their “Play It Safe” campaign to spread awareness of good pediatric foot care.
Some informative statistics:
- More than 38 million children participate in sports each year in the United States.
- One in three children who plays a team sport is injured seriously enough to miss practice or games.
- Children’s bones, muscles, tendons and ligaments are still growing, making them more susceptible to injury.
As with most things we geeks do, we like to get into the minutiae, and learn the details. When it comes to issues of our kids’ health, it certainly behooves us to delve deep and learn what we need to know to keep them safe, and help them understand how to do things right. A few things we can do, and remind them to do, include:
- Kids should have at least one or two days off from any particular sport each week to avoid overuse injuries.
- If you experience a foot or ankle injury while playing sports, early attention is key to preventing further damage. Always ice the injury, never use heat.
- Choose footwear specific to your activity. Sneakers made for tennis players will provide different support and traction than cleats made for football players.
- If you participate in a certain sport at least two to three times a week, you should wear a sport-specific shoe.
- Go to a store that specializes in athletic shoes, or call the office of a local podiatrist for suggestions. Be sure to have your feet measured every time you purchase new shoes, as feet size and shape can change (especially in kids) as we age.
To help you get better educated about your kids’ (and your) feed, the APMA website has plenty of great information to help you figure out which shoes are right for your feet, the sports you play, and plenty more. Check them out.