Thursday, September 13, 2012

Young dancers can get injured


As young kids grow, their bones, ligaments and tendons developing, dance class can be dangerous if care is not taken.

“Dance is highly demanding,” says Scott Levin, MD, of Somers Orthpaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine Group in Carmel NY.

Most dance injuries are from overuse, not an acute event. Overuse can lead to small cracks in the bone, for instance. Or inflammation of the tendon. Ankle sprains can result from going en pointe.

The risk is greatest for girls between 8 and 12 and for boys between 10 and 14. These are the growth spurt years.

Parents should not encourage kids to go to a higher level until they are ready. Girls should probably not go en pointe until 12 or more.

Shoes should be properly fitted.

Kids also should get proper nutrition—especially fluids.

The classes should allow for a child to say they need a break.

Doctors should also talk to dancers—urge them never to dance through pain.

Excessive perfectionism can be the enemy.

That show DANCE MOMS? What not to do.

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