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As National Youth Sports Safety Month Winds Down, Children’s Spring Sports Leagues Start: SOS Sports Medicine Team Offers Safety Tips

Coach talking about sports safety

Syracuse Orthopedic Specialists’ Sports Medicine team has been proud to support National Youth Sports Safety Month in April. The month offers an opportunity to provide information for parents, coaches and young athletes about the rise in youth sports injuries and steps they can take to prevent injuries and keep players healthy.

As the awareness month winds down, it coincides with the start of the Spring sports season. Fields are drying out and kids are ready to kick the soccer ball, get out the lacrosse sticks, throw the ball around and just generally get outside and have fun. The SOS Sports Medicine Team suggests one area for focus and injury prevention is the athlete’s feet and footwear.

A few tips on footwear:

  • Children’s feet can grow quickly. Don’t plan to have kids wear last season’s cleats. Have their feet measured and make sure they are wearing the correct shoe size. This goes for teens, too, as it is common for feet to grow even during teen’s years. Depending on the length of the season, younger children could even need a new pair in a bigger size by mid-season.
  • Be certain that footwear, and all gear, is appropriate for the surface and conditions on which the team will be playing. Grass fields are much different than indoor turf, and accommodation should be made for safety.
  • For soccer, shin guards should provide full protection from just below the knees to the top of the cleat (within two inches of the top of the cleat, according to NFHS rules.)
  • Note that, although many pediatric ankle braces are sold over the counter, you should consult with an athletic trainer or sports medicine physician to see if your child really needs to wear one.

“Sports should be a fun, healthy activity for children and adolescents,” comments Todd Battaglia, MD, of SOS Sports Medicine. “SOS is committed to providing quality orthopedic care for athletes, but we also are dedicated to educating parents and coaches about sports safety, and to helping prevent injuries so that sports can be an activity enjoyed throughout a young athlete’s lifetime.”

© 2014 Syracuse Orthopedic Specialists