Tips for Preventing Common Sports Injuries in Kids
Our kids are probably a lot like your kids. Sports, dance, and outside play all keep them active and healthy. As they get older and more active we are doing our best to keep them safe while they play. Preventing sports injuries in our kids is at the top of our priority list this season. As a Thrive Ambassador for Kaiser Permanente Orange County I was able to speak with an orthopedic specialist Dr. Brent Davis about ways to help have a happy and healthy sports season.
Traumatic injuries like ACL tears are very common in many sports like soccer, American football, and Baseball. Doctor Brent Davis, an orthopedic specialist at Kaiser says it is their goal to treat these injuries. Treating ACL tears, other traumatic injuries from sports, and overuse is something they do very well at Kaiser. While treatment is excellent, preventing injuries is what we agree is best. He shared a few tips to help your sporty kid be as prepared as they can be before they hit the field.
All three of our kids are playing soccer this season. Dr. Davis said that a very common injury with soccer players is ACL tears. He mentioned that for many reasons ACL tears are up in ‘epidemic proportions’ in female teen soccer players. ACL tears are rising among all soccer players, but he shared that teen female players are having more and more injuries than ever before. While he says that he and his team at Kaiser are able to treat this injury very effectively, prevention is always better.
There is good news! Dr. Davis shared that Kaiser Permanente of Orange County has an initiative to help more kids avoid this terrible injury. When athletes use the FIFA 11+ program correctly risk for ACL tears can be reduced up to 25%. Twenty five percent is a dramatic reduction and I am taking it seriously. He stressed that not all coaches are using this program.
Professionals are urging coaches to commit a small amount of practice time to this series of exercises. Parents can always ask their coaches to consider adding FIFA 11+ to their work out if it is not already part of the plan. Soccer practices are almost always a full plate, many coaches still feel practice is too busy to add this in. Should your coach remain unmoved by your request there is nothing that stops players from the recommended exercises at home. Motivating kids to be consistent may be an entirely different issue, but the option is there!
The video below shares a bit about FIFA 11+
While FIFA 11+ has been known to reduce risk, Dr. Davis did stress that where there are high intensity sports there will be injuries. While we can’t avoid the risk entirely, our family is happy to have found something to simply help reduce the risk of this common sports injury in our kids. We would like to keep our athletes on the field and not in a hospital room as long as possible.
Convincing kids to work out seems to be the biggest hurdle for most families. Kids have their off days, they can be stubborn, and they don’t think an injury will actually happen to them. Dr. Davis agrees that it is hard to encourage kids but stresses that parents of athletes should encourage their players to take these steps to reduce their risk of injury. We plan on rewarding our kids for being proactive and doing their FIFA 11+ exercises without prompting. I am not above withholding media privileges until exercises are done either!
Soccer is fairly new to our family and I am thankful to have some tools to give our kids the best chance. I am thankful for Kaiser Permanente Orange County for encouraging prevention and encouraging us to thrive. I encourage you to speak with your doctors before your kids start sports for advice on how to prevent sports injuries too! Thank you Dr. Davis for taking the time to explain FIFA 11+ and making me aware of the risks associated with sports. We promise to play safe!