Answered By Larson Rett | Apr 29, 2010
What can I do as a parent to ensure that my child doesn't develop an over-use injury like shin splints or tendonitis?
There is little doubt that the kids of yesteryear experienced as much total physical exercise, maybe more, as the children of today. However, I don’t remember ever experiencing an overuse injury. In the 21st century free play, physical education and high school sports has been replaced with adult organized alternatives, leagues, select sides and travel teams. Physical education in all but the most forward thinking school districts is about to go the way of the dodo bird and high school sports are being down played and supplanted in many sports by the aforementioned club activities. Parents, for a variety of different reasons have bought into several new youth sports paradigms that have surfaced in society today. 1. The earlier a child starts training for sport or a sport, the better chance that child has to be “successful”. 2. My child, in order to be successful in sports, must train just like the successful adult athletes train, maybe harder. 3. The mantra of “Sport Specific Training” being hailed as the panacea for those athletes who wish to reach the highest level of athletic achievement is now nearly gospel. Very young children, those under six years old, need to get outside and play. Regular trips to the park to take advantage of playground equipment can be integrated various games of low organization and ball activities. Form play groups outside of school so that children can interact and play together. Cycle in at various intervals organized activities like swimming lessons, gymnastics, karate or introductory team sports such as soccer played with modified rules that make the activity appropriate for the very young athletes.