Getting children involved in athletics at a young age will provide a great foundation for muscle strengthening as well as establishing an early value for physical fitness. However injuries are common in sports, adults are injured frequently but with young growing children there is more opportunity for injuries. Here are some things to remember when your child is participating in sports.
Though young athletes look like mini adult athletes on the field, it is important to remember they are immature bodies that are still developing. Bones in children are more pliable than those in adults, because of this they can withstand deformation without fracture. However if fractures do occur, they can have additional complications due to the immaturity of the young athletes body.
Children use more energy than adults in most activities, and with a still developing thermoregulatory system they can be prone to overheating. In this same token, children are also prone to losing heat; be sure to take the time to gently acclimate them to extreme temperatures.
Proper nutrition is essential in the healthy growth of any young child, but this is especially important in those children who are active. To promote the development of healthy muscle be sure they are getting a good amount of protein in their diet. To keep bones strong ensure they are ingesting the recommended amount of calcium daily.
- Children have more sweat glands per unit area than adults, and though they perspire less, they do lose fluids from these glands. Make sure that before and after any physical activity your little athlete is staying hydrated with a balance of water and electrolyte drinks such as Gatorade.