The word musculoskeletal is exactly what it sounds like! It’s simply your muscles and bones along with tendons (which connect bone to muscle), ligaments (which connect bone to bone), nerves, and more that help our bodies move and groove every day. Since kids are very active, they can get injured, the most common musculoskeletal injuries being fractures, dislocations, and sprains. These injuries can range from minor to serious and can certainly curtail your child’s ability to do his or her favorite activities like sports and playing with friends on the playground for some time. This is why it is extremely important to prevent musculoskeletal injuries by playing safe and by keeping muscles and bones healthy and strong. You can prevent such injuries by: always warming up muscles before and after exercise with some light walking or running; wearing appropriate safety gear for a sport or activity like a helmet and knee pads when skating, or riding a bike or scooter; making sure kids rest muscles between strenuous activities; and definitely making sure to hydrate with water before, during and after active play. You can keep muscles and bones healthy by drinking low-fat unflavored milk, eating calcium-rich foods, and by eating lean proteins.

Zaira Peñaloza
Master’s of Occupational Therapy Junior at Gannon University, Erie, PA