A: Sports are an excellent way to keep kids active and socially connected. It is important to remember a few things to help prepare young athlete’s bodies and protect them from sports-related injuries before they happen.
• Follow a warm-up routine.
• Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight or underweight are both cause for concern. Make sure your child understands proper nutrition and caloric intake are needed for optimal performance and endurance.
• Eat healthy meals. Make sure your child is eating a well-balanced diet and does not skip meals. Avoid high-fat foods such as candy, fried food and fast food. Supply your children with fresh fruit, veggies and protein bars made from whole foods for snacks on the go.
• Drink water. Teenage athletes should drink at least eight eight-ounce glasses of water a day. Younger athletes should drink five to eight eight-ounce glasses of water.
• Avoid sugar-loaded, caffeinated, and/or carbonated drinks.
• Wear the proper equipment when required.
• Get plenty of rest. Eight to 10 hours of sleep is ideal.
• Have your child examined by a chiropractor. Doctors of chiropractic are licensed and trained to care for the neuro-musculoskeletal system and can provide advice on sports training, nutrition, and injury prevention to young athletes.
Information from The International Chiropractic Pediatric Association, provided by Dr. Kari Swain, Swain Chiropractic, 410 Center Place SW., 967-9300.