Parents strive to raise healthy, well-rounded children, and part of this includes encouraging kids to be physically active. One report estimates that “three out of four American households have at least one school-aged child participating in sports,” which is roughly 56.6 percent of American children. In addition, “60 percent of boys and 47 percent of girls are on a team by the age of six.” With many playing sports for several years, injuries are bound to happen. Pediatric physical therapy can help children to participate more safely, recover from injury, and reduce risk of re-injury.
Why Should Children Play Sports?
Sports promote skills that are common child development milestones. Pediatric sports medicine professionals will tell you they are beneficial not only to the body, but to the brain as well.
When children are active in sports, it supports stronger bones and muscles. It also promotes better balance and coordination. Children build endurance, exercise their heart and lungs, burn off excess energy, and stay more physically fit. For children having trouble with developmental coordination, sports can be a way to help them practice and overcome challenges.
Sports and mental health also go hand-in-hand. Children develop a greater sense of confidence and self-esteem. Studies have also shown that children who participate in sports tend to have improved body image and more self-discipline from being part of a goal-directed environment where teammates expect them to behave well.
There are also effects of sports on growth in terms of social development. Children learn teamwork, fairness, good sportsmanship, sharing, respect, and honesty. They are better equipped to deal with winning and losing because every game and team are different. In addition, kids build stronger friendships with peers and tend to be less involved with drugs and alcohol because they’re engaged with positive social activities.
Pediatric Physical Therapy for Sports
Pediatric sports medicine programs can assist children in being physically active while reducing potential long-term damage to their bodies. Some sports are harder on the body than others. Parental support is essential to ensuring children are being safe and following recommendations for their age, ability, and level of activity.
Supporting Proper Healing
Kids are resilient, but pediatric physical therapy can ensure they’re fully healed before returning to playing sports even if they feel fine. The pain may have resolved, but they still may need to take it easy for a bit until muscles, joints, or bones are ready for more strenuous activity. A physical therapist can slowly ease them back into playing.
Preventing Frequent Damage or Injury Recurrences
When children are injured during sports and therapy is used as part of rehabilitation, it can teach them ways to move and play to prevent re-injury or lasting damage. It may be that they need to build their core strength, shift their weight differently, or learn how to adjust their form when throwing, catching, kicking, or doing other motions.
Overcoming Physical Challenges
Pediatric physical therapy is also beneficial for children who have physical challenges but want to stay active. Therapists can assess their abilities and teach adaptive strategies that help them to participate with their peers and play sports in ways that they are able. This can be wonderful for supporting child development and boosting self-esteem.
Pediatric Physical Therapy from Therapeutic Movements
Engaging your child in sports is a great way to help them grow in many aspects of their life. Sports are challenging, motivating, and rewarding, but safety should also be a top priority. Understand your child’s development nature, areas of strength and where they may be struggling, and other concerns so that you can discuss them with your pediatric physical therapist.
Pediatric physical therapy programs are geared toward the needs of children and adolescents. When it comes to sports and therapy, the therapists at Therapeutic Movements understand how children’s bodies are growing and changing, and how to help them recover from injury more quickly and effectively. Physical therapy activities are fun and engaging while tailored to the unique needs of each child, their development, and the sports they enjoy. Our professional team wants your child to stay active while also protecting their muscles, joints, and bones. Look for physical therapy services near me that can treat sports injuries, and make sure to check out Therapeutic Movements in Dallas.