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Which Sport Should My Child Do?


Which Sport Should My Child Do?

Anadolu Health Center Child Health and Diseases Specialist Dr. Ebru Gözer says that children should be taught sports habits and shares important information about the sports that children can do…

The period of reflexive movements from birth to the age of 0-1; 1-2 years of age primitive movements period; 2-6 years old basic movements period; The ages of 7-12 are separated as sports-related periods. Each period of motor development builds on the other. The term sports in this period includes not only exercise but also activities such as games and dance. During childhood, that is, between the ages of 7-12; While typical transitional movements such as speeding up basic skills, becoming more fluent, skipping rope and skipping stones are exhibited, more and more complex types of sports are beginning to be chosen. The pace of development in this period is psychomotor maturity and the phase of focusing on a sports branch and practicing sports skills. Meanwhile, features such as strength, endurance, speed and balance begin to develop and physical performance gradually increases.

What should children who do sports pay attention to?

  • It is a must to have a physician in the team that monitors the physiological development of a child who does regular sports.
  • Children of the same age may have very different cognitive levels, physical maturity and abilities. The child should be given ample time to explore different activities, and parents or peers should not put any pressure on this.
  • The expectations and goals set by the coach or educator should be appropriate to the child’s psychomotor development level.
  • The child and his/her family should be taught correct eating habits and their importance should be adopted.
  • Children’s body surface area is greater than that of adults. For this reason, they are affected by environmental temperature and environmental changes, and they do not sweat much. Ambient temperature should be adjusted carefully in sports such as swimming. If the environment is hot, breaks and water supplements should be taken.
  • Otitis externa can be seen frequently in children who are interested in water sports. Therefore, silicone plugs can be used.
  • During the exercises, care should be taken to ensure that the movements are versatile.
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Which sport should be done at what age?

In the pre-puberty period, taking into account the child’s interest, structuring basic movement forms and developing technical skills in sports such as athletics, gymnastics, swimming and skiing are considered more suitable for physiological development. Types of sports to be done according to age are listed as follows:

  • Gymnastics: 4 – 6 years old
  • Swimming: 5 – 6 years old
  • Tennis: 7 – 8 years old
  • Basketball: 9 – 10 years old
  • Volleyball: 10 – 12 years old
  • Water Polo: 10 – 12 years old
  • Handball: 10 -12 years old
  • Athletics: 10 – 16 years old
  • Rowing: 11 -14 years old
  • Archery: 12 -14 years old
  • Football: 12 – 14 years old
  • Boxing: 13 -15 years old
  • Weightlifting: 14 – 15 years old

Nutrition recommendations for children who do sports:

The nutrition of a child doing sports needs to be planned according to the child’s age and physical activity. It is recommended to eat a light meal at least 1 hour before exercise. Being hungry and full negatively affects performance. Nuts and cheese toast may be suitable. It is necessary to consume plenty of fluids during and after exercise. Afterwards, fruit and complex carbohydrates can be preferred. Sugary foods and trans-fat foods should not be included in sports nutrition. Protein foods and dairy products are also seen as the main food groups that children who do regular sports should consume.

What are the benefits of sports for the child?

As the body becomes flexible, basic skills are developed, and motor abilities are improved as a result of gains in endurance, balance, hand-eye coordination and agility. These skills develop rapidly as activities that begin in early childhood turn into more organized sports activities. In late childhood, exercises that require strength and energy are recommended. In this way, postural development is positively affected. Children are getting ready for competitive and team games. As psychosocial development; The child’s self-confidence is strengthened, starting with following simple rules and expressing himself through singing, dancing, and participating in games. At older ages, children; Through group and competitive games, they are encouraged to acquire characteristics that will affect their emotional development, such as being a team player, leadership, discipline and reward system, knowing limits, team spirit, confidant and friendship.

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How many calories are burned in which sport?

Based on the 1-hour activities of 10-year-old children with an average weight of 34 kg, the following values ​​are obtained, but calories may vary depending on the child’s gender, height and weight. Water polo: 300 kcal Swimming: 272 kcal Football: 265 kcal Handball: 265 kcal Rowing: 250 kcal Tennis: 235 kcal Boxing: 205 kcal Basketball: 200 kcal Athletics: 195 kcal Gymnastics: 136 kcal Weightlifting: 120 kcal Archery: 118 kcal Volleyball : 106 kcal sports, reflexive movements, pre-puberty, puberty, calories, exercise

What are the effects of sports on heart health?

Regular exercise also positively affects heart health. Anadolu Health Center Pediatric Cardiology Specialist Dr. Resimye Beşikçi draws attention to the importance of doing sports without harming the heart and gives information about the tests that should be done before sports.

  • Before children start sports, they need to be evaluated by a pediatric cardiologist by performing a cardiological examination, ECG, echocardiography and, if necessary, a stress test.
  • Healthy children who do sports need to have a heart check every 1 or 2 years, depending on the severity of the sport.
  • Competitive sports are generally prohibited for children with heart-related problems, but they can only do sports that are allowed by the pediatric cardiologist.

How to prevent sports injuries?

Orthopedics and Traumatology Specialist Assoc. Dr. İbrahim Akmaz points out that children are more prone to injuries during sports than adults. Assoc. Dr. İbrahim Akmaz gives information about sports injuries.

Injuries are usually seen in the places where the child’s joint cartilage, growth plates and strong tendons attach to the bone, and these injuries occur especially during the rapid growth period of children. During this period, children’s muscles become more tense. In order to protect children from sports injuries, the surface on which they do sports and the choice of shoes are important. Children are recommended to do sports with children in their own age group. In addition, considering the tension of muscle structures, it is necessary to explain and follow the importance of warming up and stretching before exercise.

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Pre-sport evaluation

  • Medical and sports evaluation is required.
  • Systemic and orthopedic examination is required.
  • Radiological examination consultation; x-ray, tomography, scintigraphy etc. It is necessary.
  • Cardiological examination; ECG, echocardiography and, if necessary, a stress test are required.
  • Depending on the intensity of the sport, children need to have a heart check every year or every two years.


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