It has finally been decided to start the 2022 Winter Olympics. “Can I please take figure skating lessons, please?” will be a question that children all around the world will be asking their parents. “She wants to wear tiny blades on her feet and twirl about on an area of cold, hard ice?” ponders the overly cautious Mom or Dad. “I don’t believe that.” And if playing ice hockey is a child’s dream, there are crashes and checks to contend with, as well as the possibility of having a stick whacked in your face. Not to mention the possibility of foot injury.
Before you answer no, consider the fact that youth sports encourage children to be physically active and healthy. Skating gives children abilities that will benefit them both on and off the ice, such as balance, concentration, hand-eye coordination, collaboration, and dedication.
Consider the following foot and ankle safety precautions to help you say “yes” to your child’s sudden interest in skate sports:
- Stress fractures in the feet and ankles, as well as shin splints, growth plate damage, and tendonitis, are all typical skating-related injuries. In most cases, they are brought on by excessive training. The vast majority of children will not compete in the Olympics or the NHL, and they do not need to practice as if they would. Pain, redness, or swelling anywhere on the feet or ankles are all indicators of overuse injuries, so keep an eye out for them.
- Little frozen toes may be avoided by taking adequate pauses away from the ice. It is impossible to shift your feet while you are wearing hard skates. When you combine that with being close to the ice, you have a formula for impaired circulation to the feet and toes, which may result in frostbite in the feet and toes.
- Inflammation of the soft tissues in the lower thigh, ankle, or foot may occur when skates are laced up too tightly in children. Wearing skates that fit properly and aren’t laced too tightly, as well as custom orthotics can help a child skate to their full potential.
- Lastly, keep an eye out for the coach’s demeanor. Good trainers are aware that figure skating and ice hockey should be enjoyable and safe activities, and they take care not to overtrain your kid to the point of harming themselves.
If your young sports enthusiast does develop pain in his feet or ankles, our experienced podiatric surgeons, Dr. James Baldwin, Dr. Sunny Patel, Dr. Aaron Bradley, Dr. Monica Cooney, Dr. Munketh Salem, Dr. Renee Shepherd, Dr. Carl Belock, Dr. William Eng, Dr. Noel Patel, Dr. George Lane, Gernita Lee, NP, Letitia Coefield, NP, Dr. Felicia Copeland, and Mary Highsmith, NP can help them get back on the ice sooner than later. Call Achilles Foot & Ankle Center in Richmond, VA at (804) 273-1717 or schedule an appointment online.