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Northeast Rehabilitation Health Network Sports Medicine Original Articles

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Is Your Child Ready for the Fall
Sports Program?

by: Jennifer Hogg, A.T.C.

Is your child ready to
play their Fall sport? You may think that since they have been riding
around on a bicycle all summer long, roller blading and chasing the
ice cream man, that the organized sports program offered by the school
or community will be no problem. While he/ she may be ready, there are
a few things worth considering.

For most athletic
programs, it is a requirement that the athlete undergo a
pre-participation sports physical performed by their physician. As
children grow rapidly, and are undergoing many changes while bodies
mature into early adulthood, it is important that they receive regular
physicals to treat and prevent health problems. It is particularly
important to have a checkup if your child was injured during the past
year to make sure that they can safely train and compete in their
chosen sport.

Take a look at your
child’s diet. Nutrition is a great factor in keeping children
healthy. Good eating habits are formed early on and will promote
proper growth and help an active child maintain the high energy levels
required by a young athlete. Along with proper diet, teach the
importance of water intake during sports competition. Thirst can be a
late indicator of dehydration, and by the time thirst sets in, your
child may already be dehydrated.

Conditioning begins
well before the sports season starts. Endurance, strength, flexibility
and skill are developed over a period of time and prepares young
athletes for competition. Young athletes must also develop sports
specific skills. Your child’s agility will improve with their
skill level, which will lead to fewer injuries.

So is your child ready
for the upcoming fall sports season? Discuss these points, and bring
your questions to your family physician, the team coach or an athletic
trainer. To speak to an athletic trainer at our Sports Injury
Clinic in our Haverhill, MA Outpatient Center, call 978-521-1186.