Parents Need Education about Minor Injury Treatment - Soccer Parenting Association
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Parents Need Education about Minor Injury Treatment

I spent one of the last weeks of my summer working a SoccerPlus Camp at Northfield Mt. Hermon in Massachusetts. It was great to be back in the camp mix for many reasons: Old and new friends on staff, being in an empowering environment that seems to follow Tony DiCicco, having a positive impact on the hundreds of kids at the camp, early morning bike rides. The list of what was great about my week is quite long. And, one thing to add to the list, FOR SURE – is that I made it through an entire week and didn’t need the attention of the Athletic Trainer!

Those that know me know this a rather unusual feat. My playing career was basically a constantly revolving door between the various Athletic Trainers that were assigned to my teams over the years and myself. Fortunately, rarely was my injury one that prevented me from playing. Usually, it was a sore muscle, and nagging ankle sprain, a dislocated finger or the like.

One of the results of my Training Room time is that I feel rather well educated when it comes to my own child and her minor issues. I know when to ice and when to heat, I know when to give Advil and when to give Tylenol, I understand the real benefits of a foam roller and a lacrosse ball and have a Theracane handy at the house.

I realized the other day that some parent education is in order when I overheard a parent from the other team talking with her daughter after the game about a sore muscle – most likely a muscle strain. The mom told her daughter “I’ll get the heating pad out for you when we get home.” As the expert The Body article by Expert Contributor Dr. John Lucas discusses, heat on a brand new muscle injury is not the right course of treatment.

Our children have high demands placed upon them.  Suddenly they transition from the 10 year old seemingly invincible child that never has sore muscles, to the 14 year old that wakes up sore after a tough day of training. It’s essential that we know what to do to help them with the minor things that don’t require a doctor’s visit – so they can be prepared for training and not risk additional injury.

It’s also important that we help our children understand the importance of taking care of their bodies. Icing a minor injury or spending a few minutes at the end of training to get in an important stretch are important steps along the path of “athletic maturity” for our young athletes.

While some of the larger clubs like the one I am affiliated with in Richmond, VA – the Richmond Strikers – are able to provide Training Room services staffed with Certified Athletic Trainers to their players – most clubs are not. And while some coaches are tuned in to the importance of taking care of minor issues and provide sound advice – many do not.

I believe there’s actually quite a gap in Youth Soccer between the demands we are placing on our young athletes and the Athletic Training services we are providing. Muscle strains and minor joint pain are unavoidable in a contact sport such as soccer. And, while follow up with a doctor or physical therapist is often the right path to take, knowing what to do before something very minor gets worse can often prevent the need for a visit to a doctor’s office.

In an effort to bridge the gap, SoccerParenting will have guest Experts joining us regularly providing advice on handling minor issues related to The Body

Dr. Lucas provides some education in dealing with muscle injuries in his article:  Properly Caring for Muscle Injuries.

About the Author Skye Eddy

Founder, Skye is a former All-American goalkeeper, professional player and collegiate coach. She holds her USSF “B” License and USSF National Goalkeeper License and is an active youth coach, soccer parent and coach educator.

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