We all want our kids to be healthy and active, but a studies now suggest that if your child is overweight, he or she could be at risk for leg, ankle and foot injuries during physical activity. The reason for this concern is that the extra weight being carried puts added stress on those sometimes fragile body parts.
We probably all could have come to that assumption on our own, but according to lead study author Eva Jespersen, this is the first time that the risks have been spelled out by an authoritative source (she’s a physiotherapist and PhD candidate at the Centre for Research in Childhood Health in Denmark).
In addition to warning parents of the potential danger, the study emphasizes that, despite the added risk of physical activity for overweight kids, it’s very important that all children get regular exercise. Instead of staying on the couch out of fear of injury, heavier kids should be guided to choose activities that can not only burn calories but also improve muscle strength and balance; this type of activity will help counter-balance the added risk of ankle and foot injuries that they face when first becoming more active.
If your child is even slightly above average size, it is a very good idea to consult with a Houston podiatrist before encouraging her or him to ramp up physical activity levels. As a team, you, your child and I can come up with a great exercise plan that will help your child get healthy, develop a love of being active and, of course, protect his or her growing feet, ankles and legs from any kind of injury.