Young athletes are different from adults because children and teens are still growing and developing. Injuries and medical problems in children's bones, muscles, ligaments, tendons, and joints can be very different from what adults may experience. Pediatric sports medicine specialists have special training and expertise that enable them to examine, diagnose, and appropriately treat injuries and illnesses in active children and teens.

Children have specific nutritional and hydration needs when it comes to sports.

Tips for proper nutrition

  • Eat a diet that includes a range of nutritious foods
  • Include a variety of fruits and vegetables and lean protein
  • Be sure to get enough calcium

Tips for proper hydration

  • Water is the best sports beverage
  • Drink eight to 12 ounces before starting any activity and an additional eight ounces for every 45 minutes of exercise
  • Chocolate milk can be useful after exercise to replenish protein and carbohydrates
  • Avoid beverages that are high in caffeine. Caffeine causes your body to lose more fluid as you exercise and can make you more susceptible to heat-related illnesses.

Your child should have a complete physical exam at least six weeks before beginning any sport. You can schedule an exam with your child's primary care provider or a sports medicine specialist.

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