My ten year old son recently began limping and telling me he had a sore foot. He is extremely active so I put it down to a stone bruise or something innocuous. I finally decided to take it seriously when he was hobbling around like an old man when he first got up in the mornings. It was the end of the summer sports season and he was nearing the finals for all his sports. It also coincided with the start of training for his winter sports. Every day of the week he was exercising and it was at that point that he was diagnosed with ‘Severs Disease’.
The name conjures images of a contagious infection where the foot is severed from the body, but thankfully it’s not as disturbing as that! Put simply, it is when the growth plate in the heel grows faster than the achilles tendon can stretch and is very common in active kids after they have had a growth spurt. The only course of action was to rest and to do stretches to help the achilles lengthen. As he already wears orthotics in his shoes, these were raised slightly in the heel to relieve the tension in his tendon.
To my son’s horror, the diagnosis of severs required him to limit his activities. He had to give up rugby training, competing in his school cross country and sat out a game or two of basketball. After reducing his sport, which let’s be honest is like a cruel form of torture for an active ten year old, the pain subsided.
Severs is a condition that will flare up off and on as he grows and he just has to manage it with ice packs to reduce swelling and stretching exercises.
As a side note, the podiatrist mentioned to me that kids that get ‘Severs’ often then get another growth related disease called ‘Osgood-Schlatter Disease’ a few years later in life when the growth plates in their knees start to give them pain. He advised that my son should try to build up his quads to help support his knees before the pain sets in.
So if you have an active kid complaining of sore heels or knees there is a good chance that they are suffering from good old growing pains!
(Image courtesy of photo stock, freedigitalphotos.net)
Flash back to six weeks ago and I was looking forward to the kid’s school holidays. I’d had enough of making lunches and encouraging (nagging) my kid’s to leave for school on time. I was sick of ensuring the kids had all their homework done and then confirming that they remembered to pack it to hand in the following day. I was also tired of being mum’s taxi shuffling kids to their extra curricular activities. I was ready for a break from all that to enjoy our winter school holidays.
The first few days were heaven with the kids relieved to have no school commitments. I enjoyed lying in and not worrying about what the kids would have for lunch, until almost lunchtime. But after a few days of relaxing the kids missed their friends and we were launched into frenetic socializing with school friends. My mum’s taxi route didn’t end; it just altered to collecting and dropping off kids for play dates.
Fast forward to today, the last day of the school holidays, and I can’t wait for the kids to go back to school so I can get my days back to myself. I’m longing to not have to hear whining about how bored the kids are and can they just have an outing, a friend over or some type of junk food. These holidays it actually seemed that the more organized a special outing was, the more the kids whinged about how bored they were. The best times they had these holidays were when they were left to come up with their own game or way to fill in time. They actually managed to devise some creative ways to entertain themselves.
So on the eve of the kid’s return to school, they are looking depressed at the looming term, whilst I’m the one trying my hardest to not do my happy dance in front of them. Tomorrow I may have to take back the responsibility of getting the kid’s into their school routine again, but thankfully I will be able to return to my normal routine as well (which includes more blogging and writing). But ask me in six weeks time and I’ll be craving school holidays again, because as they say, the grass is always greener on the other side!
What do you prefer: school holidays or school term?
Image courtesy of Clare Bloomfield, freedigitialphotos.net