Kids can Tri too!

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Kids can Tri too!

 

Competing in a triathlon can be a great way to get your children off the couch this summer! A triathlon is a fast-paced 3-sport race consisting of swimming, biking, and running. In addition to being a great way to get fit and have fun, it has become one of the fastest growing sports in the world. Children as well as adults can reap the health benefits from participating in a triathlon. Our local Heartland Triathlon dedicates Saturdays’ June 14th race to kids. Race Director, Cherie Starr says there are numerous benefits of youth sports, many of which are obvious. “Keeping children fit, instilling healthy habits at a young age and keeping them away from negative influences are one of the many benefits of enrolling your child in sports.” She loves to see how the children benefit by participating in the triathlon.

While participating in sports is a great way to keep your child healthy and active, you want to make sure your child does not receive any injuries this summer. Several injuries are common in active children that parents should be aware of:

Children have immature bones called growth plates. These growth plates will not finish closinguntil age 17 in boys and age 15 in girls. Because these growth plates are susceptible to injury,kids should be shown how to warm up in-order to loosen muscles and ligaments and prevent injuries.
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photo3Sever’s Disease is the inflammation of a growth plate which is often felt as pain behind the heel caused by inflammation of the apophasis, a growth center where a tendon is attached to the bone. Treatment includes resting the foot, ice, heel lifts, stretching, change in shoes and physical therapy.
photo4Children should be taught to be on the lookout for glass or sharp objects in the water and when transitioning from the swim to the bike area. Simple scrapes can lead to warts. Warts are a virus that invades the skin through a tiny cut or scratch. These hard bumpy surfaces can spread throughout the feet if left untreated. Such issues can be prevented by just being a little more careful when barefoot.

In older children, stretched or torn ligaments in the ankle, known as sprains, are more common than fractures. A sprain may cause quite a bit of swelling around the ankle similar to a fracture. Immediate treatment of rest and ice is crucial to quick healing.

Fractures, as previously noted, are often seen in child-athletes caused by extreme exercising and the overuse of the body. Physical Therapist, Kim Price, of Cora Rehab says, “In general our kids are less active then kids years ago but I believe we also have a new epidemic of kids being too active and occurring adult like overuse injuries at younger ages. Typically when a child has a pain in their joint or surrounding tissue it can be caused by inflammation due to over use, faulty mechanics, or in appropriate shoes. Sports are very competitive now days. We feel our children need to do everything in order for them to stay competitive. We need to resist the temptation to over push. Sometimes rest is the best advice to heal from overuse injuries and to improve their performance”.

Shin splints are micro tears or inflammation of the muscles on the front of the legs. Again, restis most important in healing these injuries. If you suspect your child is having one of these problems see your local podiatrist.

Triathlons not only promote fitness but also boost self-confidence as the young athlete’s crosses the finish line. This Saturday, kids, remember to apply your sunscreen, drinks lots of water and most importantly have a heck of a lot of fun!

 

 

Triathlon and marathoner Dr. Olga Garcia Luepschen and Gentle Foot Care Center are located on US 27. For more information, you can call the office at 863-314-9255 or visit www.gentlefootcarecenter.com 

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