How to Keep Your Kids’ Feet and Ankles Safe During Summer Sports

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Summer is the perfect time for kids to engage in outdoor sports and activities, but it’s also a season when foot and ankle injuries are more likely to occur. New Jersey Podiatric Physicians & Surgeons Group has outlined practical tips to help you protect your child’s feet and ankles during summer sports.

1. Choose the Right Footwear

  • Sport-Specific Shoes: Ensure your child wears shoes designed for the specific sport they are playing. Basketball shoes offer different support compared to running shoes.
  • Proper Fit: Shoes should fit well, with enough room to wiggle toes but not too loose. A proper fit helps avoid blisters and provides the necessary support.
  • Quality Materials: Invest in shoes made of breathable and durable materials to keep their feet cool and dry.

2. Encourage Regular Practice and Stretching

  • Warm-Up and Cool-Down Stretches: Before playing, kids should perform warm-up stretches focusing on the feet, ankles, and legs. Afterward, cool-down stretches help muscles recover and prevent stiffness.
  • Reinforce Training: Practice with your kids at home to reinforce what they learn from their coaches.

3. Use Protective Gear

  • Ankle Braces: Consider ankle braces or support sleeves for extra protection.
  • Shin Guards: For sports like soccer, shin guards protect the lower legs and provide some ankle support.

4. Encourage Safe Playing Environments

  • Safe Surfaces: Ensure the playing surface is safe and free of obstacles.
  • Weather Considerations: Avoid playing on wet or slippery surfaces, and ensure proper hydration to avoid heat-related injuries.

5. Pay Attention to Pain

  • Watch for Limping: If your child is limping or favoring one foot, it’s a sign they may be injured.
  • Ask About Discomfort: Regularly check in with your child about any pain or discomfort they might be experiencing.

6. Plan for Rest and Recovery

  • Scheduled Breaks: Ensure your child takes regular breaks during play.
  • Recovery Time: After an intense game or practice, allow ample time for rest and recovery before the next session.

These tips will help your children enjoy a fun and injury-free summer sports season. If you’re looking for top-tier foot care for the family, the team at New Jersey Podiatric Physicians & Surgeons Group is here to help! With more than 30 locations, from Newark, NJ, to Cape May, NJ, we value convenience and excellent service for our patients. To schedule an appointment, first find a podiatrist in your area.