Everyone is ready for school to be out and summer to be here! Summer is a great time for playing sports, swimming, and soaking up the sun on a sandy beach. However, all of these activities can put our feet more at risk for injuries, especially children. There are some ways that you can help keep everyone you love safe this summer, wherever their feet may want to go.

Often, people don’t adequately protect their feet during activities. Children especially are so active in the summer they may not take the time to worry about their feet. Along with overuse injuries that can happen doing summer sports, they can be more susceptible to foot and ankle pain. Running around barefoot can also cause injuries including puncture wounds, plantar warts , sunburns, and even ankle sprains to those who have not taken the necessary steps to protect their feet from injuries.

What can you do? Remember to:

1. PROPER FOOTWEAR : This is essential for preventing injuries. When participating in sports or other activities, make sure you are wearing the right footwear for the activity you are participating in. Shoes need to have adequate support to help prevent injuries to your feet and ankles .When on the beach, flip flops are a great way to prevent against puncture wounds from sticks, glass, or other things you may not see. Flip flops can also prevent plantar warts that can be picked up by direct contact with a virus on pool decks or in locker room showers. Flip flops should not be used for running or other activities, but in the right situation can be very beneficial in preventing injuries to your feet . Ideally, when shopping for flip flops, try to find a pair that offers more support for the feet .

2. APPLY SUNSCREEN : Feet are often neglected when applying sunscreen. Many people apply and reapply sunscreen to their face and shoulders, but forget their feet entirely. Going without shoes or wearing flip flops while in the sun can cause severe sunburns to your feet . Remember to be diligent about using sunscreen on all the areas exposed to the sun, especially your feet !

3. PAY ATTENTION TO SYMPTOMS : Watch for symptoms of an injury or infection. The symptoms of a sprained ankle can include pain, soreness, swelling, and difficulty walking. Use the RICE treatment method– Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation— to give the ankle time to heal and prevent it from happening again. If the sprain is not adequately healed and rehabilitated, it can reoccur and cause long term problems like chronic ankle instability .

4. SEEK HELP WHEN NEEDED : If an injury is causing pain or discomfort for longer than 3 days, or you notice something on your feet that you haven’t seen before, contact Dr. Kylin Kovac for an evaluation. He can start you on a treatment plan to ensure proper healing and help you avoid further injury. Dr. Kovac also offers MLS Laser Therapy which has been proven to speed up the healing process for injuries such as sprained ankles . He can evaluate the symptoms and recommend the right treatment for you!

Summer is a wonderful time to enjoy many different activities that you can’t do any other time of year. By following these guidelines, you can help keep your feet in tip top shape all summer! If you are experiencing any foot or ankle issues, it is a good idea to get it evaluated before you embark on your summer vacations. Don’t let foot or ankle pain ruin your summer fun! Dr. Kylin Kovac provides foot care for the whole family. He is ready and qualified to help you get back on your feet and stay on your feet all summer long!

Some content provided by The ACFAS.