As growth is more rapid during younger years, recovery is especially important in helping your child’s body to recuperate from injury.
Making a safe return from injury
Once your child starts showing signs they’re ready for a comeback, here are a few steps you can take to make sure they won’t set themselves back:
- Ask them if the injured area is pain free.
- Test whether they can take the injured part through a full range of movement.
- Make sure the injured area has regained its strength.
If you’re in doubt, take them to a professional (a physio, exercise physiologist or osteopath) before making your final decision.
Was it a concussion?
Whilst you hear a lot about serious head injuries in the AFL, they can happen to kids as well. If your child is concussed or they lose consciousness during a sporting activity, they need to be removed from that activity right away. You’ll need to consult with a GP immediately, and before allowing them to return to any form of sport or exercise.
General recovery tips for your child
There are a few simple things your child can do to reduce their risk of injury:
- Drink plenty of water during and after the activity to replace lost fluids.
- Eat carbohydrate-rich foods as soon as possible after finishing the activity.
- Complete a warm down to help remove any residual lactic acid.
- Have at least one less intense day in-between activities.
- If any area is particularly sore, a massage never goes astray!
What can happen without recovery?
There is such a thing as too much sport. If recovery isn’t built into your child’s routine, their immune system could be placed under extra stress, which could lead to an increase in illness and injury. And in any case, it’s better to build these healthy habits into their routine from as young as possible.