Thursday, October 04, 2012

Pee Wee football--is your kid ready?

Orthopedic surgeon Victor Khabie, MD, of Somers Orthopedic & Sports Medicine group in Carmel, NY, says 5- to 14-year-olds are headed onto the football field in pee wee football season.

Each year, 450,000 youngsters end up in the ER from football.

First, kids are not small adults. Their muscles, tendons, bones, and ligaments are still growing. This makes them vulnerable.

They also have different coordination, strength and stamina than an adult.

Although football produces more acute injuries than say baseball, 95% are from soft tissue damage, bruises, muscle pulls and strains and sprains.

Concusion gets the buzz, but is not the big offender.

Little kids are slower and get fewer injuries. The damage comes in junior levels.

Be sure your kid is ready to “go out.” Most kids are ready by age 12, Khabie says.

Get the right gear, neck, shoulder, elbow, chest, knee, shin. Helmets, faceguards, everything.

Be sure your child is in a good, organized program with trained coaches.

Condition young muscles. Stretching, cool-downs.

Be sure kids are learning the proper ways to tackle, block, and play.

If you are concerned about concussion, I have a booklet on it. Go to

For more from Dr K, go to

Hut, hut!

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