Kids will be kids – most of them will be into sports, such as biking, skateboarding, team sports, and much more. These are sports that can be dangerous when your child gets into physical contact and perform moves that might potentially hurt their body parts. That’s when the protective gear comes in to play, which includes knee braces.
The main purpose of a knee brace is to help keep your child’s knees (and the structure around them) from getting torn apart due to overuse. This will also help lessen the likelihood of knee pain. Knee braces are also useful for those who are recovering from injuries.
But how exactly do you choose the right knee brace for your kid? Here are a couple of guides to help you out.
Levels of Protection for Braces
A classification system for knee braces can be used when you want to choose the right one for your young athlete. Here they are:
Level 1. This is the primary level, which is best for those who suffer from minor pain and sprains. This may be ideal for kids who are doing light sports or as a hobby.
Level 2. The advanced level, this one can be used by kids who experience a couple of swelling and sprains, usually from overusing and too much practice.
Level 3. Maximum level knee braces are for kid athletes who are most likely competing in national and international sporting events and need a lot of recovery from a big injury.
Keep in mind that when choosing the right level for your child, it’s best to consult a licensed physician or your child’s athletic trainer so that it will work effectively for the injury or concern in mind.
Types of Knee Braces
So now that we’ve known the levels of knee braces, let’s check out the different types of knee braces you can buy from your local sporting goods store (or online):
1. Knee sleeves. Made with neoprene, they are the most commonly used since they can give a simple and flexible compression for your child’s knees. It can also give them warmth and relief from minor swelling.
2. PTO braces. Also known as patellar tracking orthosis, this kind of knee brace has a hinge on the sides to keep the wearer stable when using their knees. Those with patellofemoral pain can be recommended to wear this type.
3. Knee pads. They are also very common and they are most likely used for dangerous sports, such as rollerblades, skateboarding, cycling, and team sports such as volleyball. This is because they have additional padding.
4. Hinged knee braces. They have hinges on the side of the knees, as stated by the name, which can support the knee if they get hit with an object or person. This is why they are used for football and similar contact sports.
5. Patellar strap bands. These are extremely breathable and ideal for when you don’t want to wear a lot. They put pressure on the patellar tendon which can help with people who have patellar tendonitis.
Before you buy your kid some knee braces, here are some cautions to note of:
1. Make sure to consult your child’s athletic trainer. They will know which is the best knee brace for your child depending on different factors.
- Level of injury. We mentioned this above – different braces are offered for different levels of injury or protection For instance, some injuries may be highly severe while some are only minor sprains.
- Doctor’s diagnosis. There may be specific types of knee braces that are used for specific diagnosis of your doctor to your child’s knee injury, such as for people who have patellar tendonitis – they can use patellar strap bands.
- The sport your child is playing. We also mentioned above that knee pads are mostly used for dangerous sports, such as skateboarding, which require your child to gear up a lot more to avoid bone injuries due to severe impact when hitting the ground.
2. Knee braces must be used with other aids. If your child gets injured, they may need other braces to help support their legs and feet. This is also the same concept as to why athletes need to wear full-blown gear on the arms and legs.
3. Knee braces do not replace injury-reducing programs. Even if your child does wear safety gear, they may still get injured if they do not perform a sport move properly. This is when coaching comes into play – they need to be guided in order not to likely get injuries by making the right movements and not going too reckless in sports.
Overall, choosing the right knee brace for your child isn’t that difficult as long as you know which type of knee brace to pick and which level is the right one for them. But do remember that the final decision is still in your athlete trainer and
For more information on knee braces for kids, you may want to check out braceview – they have a lot of informative articles about it!