Powered by Ways to help your children stay in the game injury-free
By Sabrya Rice, CNN
More than 30 million U.S. kids participate in sports each year, Safe Kids USA reports
Some 3.5 million kids 14 and under seek medical attention for sports injuries each year
Ways to help kids stay injury free include having them play more than one sport
Other tips: Know coach’s injury policy, what injuries are common to what sport
(CNN) — Mackenzie Riley is only 13 years old, but her schedule is busier than many adults. Besides being on her middle-school yearbook staff and taking piano and voice lessons once a week, she is also the co-captain of her seventh-grade basketball and volleyball teams.
"I like playing sports a lot," Mackenzie says. "I like the teamwork and having us all come together." This year she is also adding softball and track to the mix.
Mackenzie’s parents, Todd and JoAnna Riley, attend many of her games, so during last year’s basketball season they knew immediately when something was wrong. "We noticed that as she was playing she asked to sit down more, which is not something she typically wants to do," recalls JoAnna Riley.
Mackenzie started complaining of pain and bruising in her foot during the games, but she often felt better afterwards, so her parents didn’t think much of it. "We thought we could treat it on our own," admits JoAnna, "so we gave her anti-inflammatory and pain relievers to help those aching bones."
But Mackenzie continued to have problems and her parents’ concerns grew. "The longer it went on, the more we thought it wasn’t something that was going to go away on its own."
Halfway through the season, the Riley’s decided it was time to see specialist. Mackenzie got a diagnosis of plantar fasciitis, a condition that develops gradually over time and is most common in people between ages 40 and 60. But for Mackenzie, the condition developed despite her young age due to a combination of her being flat-footed and from overuse from continuously playing sports that put a lot of stress on her feet.
Major sports injuries increasing among children
According to Safe Kids USA, more than 30 million American children participate in extracurricular sports each year, and the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons estimates that more than 3.5 million children age 14 and younger seek medical attention each year as a result of sports injuries.
1. Diversify your child’s sports portfolio
2. Don’t let your child play if he or she is in pain
3. Know the pitch limits (for baseball)
4. Learn the coach’s ‘injury philosophy’
A few questions he recommends:
5. Be familiar with the common injuries for your child’s sport
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