There could be hundreds of reasons why kids actively engage in sports – growing up to be like their sports icons, fitting in with peers, getting fit and fighting obesity. Although generally, the physical activity would be beneficial to their health, some kids might go overboard and wear their body down at an early age. Yahoo! Health reporter Ryan Wallace has more on the story:
Children as young as 5 and 6 years old are participating in what Daniel Gould, director of the Institute for the Study of Youth Sports, calls the “elite level talent development model.” Today, for example, in various sports, kids are being placed on high intensity “travel teams” that play year-round. Scouts seek out top child athletes to sign to those teams. And specialized coaches promise to help young athletes hone specific areas such as kicking, pitching, or endurance. “The problem is that kids are not miniature adults,” Gould told Yahoo Health. “And it can be physiologically and psychologically detrimental for them in the long term.”
Before the era of elite sports marketing and obsessions, children freely explored various sports and fell in love healthily, as Gould puts it. However, at present, kids stick to one sport, train and practice year round for it, and become prone to overuse injuries and exhaustion. Parents may contribute to this without realizing the risks.
How do you keep your sporty kid healthy and safe and not be too prohibitive? You can work with a Littleton pediatrician who can assess your child’s overall readiness for sports and recommend optimal levels of activity to promote fitness and avoid burnout or injuries.
Aside from sports physicals, the physician can also provide medical advice regarding your child’s nutrition, which should match his/her activities. Foods and fluids should be planned and properly taken (in terms of quality, quantity, and time) to appropriately meet the demands of the child’s body before, during, and after sports sessions. Any supplement or special diet for the child should also be approved or recommended by the doctor.
If the child sustains any minor injuries like lacerations or sprains, an established Littleton pediatrics office like Focus on Kids Pediatrics can provide prompt, high-quality healthcare treatments. Before your child dives into his/her recreation of choice, and throughout the journey, you can count on a pediatric medicine specialist to ensure your little sports enthusiast’s health and safety.
(Source: Kids and Sports: Is Training Getting Too Intense?, Yahoo! Health, October 15, 2014)