A sprain is an injury to the ligaments that connect bones to one another. This type of injury occurs when the ligament is excessively stretched or even torn.
The most common type of sprain for a child is an ankle sprain.
The symptoms in a child of a sprain are similar to those for a fracture and include:
- Joint swelling
- Inability to bear weight
- Inability to walk
Treating Ankle Sprains
If after icing the ankle and resting the pain and swelling continue, visit a foot doctor. Treatment usually involves immobilization with a splint or compression with an elastic bandage. For a severe injury, a walking cast will help with immobilization.
If the swelling comes back or the pain persists, be sure to follow up with the podiatrist again to prevent chronic ankle instability.
Preventing Ankle Sprains
- Always have your child warm up and gently stretch before activities.
- Pay extra attention when running or walking on cracked or uneven surfaces.
- Watch for overuse and stop when you are tired or fatigued. Be sure to stop if you experience any foot or ankle pain.
- Make sure that an ankle sprain is fully healed before going back into workouts. Start slowly.
- Get the right shoes for each activity and replace them when they become worn