Hello, I have a sports mad 5yr old with itp. Our consultant is quite opinionated that Zac should do sports. We have talked to his sports teacher and explained the situation, just one time when he fell of a frame his knee went jet black. Every break time he tries to play his version of rugby and football so his skin is never clear. He has tennis twice a week and wants to play proper rugby but I cannot go there because I am just so frightened. My question is has anybody got feelings or info on children heading balls, I read that it is just a no no and that makes sense to a parent but I don't know how I would tell Zac. Thanx.
I don't let my son play football (soccer) or any contact sport at all, since his count can drop precipitously without any symptoms at any time so he could get seriously injured. Luckily, he's never been interested. (I hope he wants to play tennis!) If you have a sense of your son's count, and therefore his level of safety, when he plays, then your consultant's probably right. A jet black bruise doesn't sound like he should be heading the ball, though. I'd tell Zac that he can get very hurt heading the ball and you don't want him to hurt himself. (Here in Brooklyn, kids aren't even supposed to attempt heading the ball until they're ten anyway.) I would think that rugby would be too dangerous under any circumstances, frankly, but I tend to be more conservative when it comes to rough play. At some point he has to know that he can't do everything he wants, or everything his friends can.
Is the consultant your pediatrician or your hematologist? If he's a pediatrician, does he have experience with ITP? I ask only because you say he's so opinionated about Zac playing.
Here's a link to a list from itpkids.org, which is a project of the Boston Children's Hospital, which may help you. The rest of the website is quite useful as well.
I also have a sports mad ITP son, although he is a bit older at 11. We've also had a lot of problems with getting him to accept that there are limitations in sport and activity generally.
I think a lot of the guidance would depend on how liable your child was to bleeding. However, for what it is worth, we have been told the following by the consultant
a) absolutely no heading the ball in football unless his count is high - never been told exactly what this is but I reckon 70-80 at least
b) No contact sports unless his count is over 30
c) no playground footie unless his count is over 30 - because it is on tarmac and unsupervised
d) no competitive football unless his count is over 30 - this might not matter so much for a 5 year old!
e) no "off-the-ground" activity unless his count is over 30 - climbing frames etc
He has however continued to play football in the playground against instructions and not come to much harm. He has also continued to go to football practice with his team, and he absolutely loves tag rugby which is classified as non-contact. Your son is just the right age for this because they don't do real rugby until they get older.
Its hard to stop someone doing something they love, but I think you have to when their counts are really low. If my son's count is over 30 though, I let him get on with things - the doctor says its important not to stop him doing things if he is ok, and the worrying is my problem not his! I have found it helps to provide something special to do instead if his activity is restricted. When he hasn't been able to play footie for example, I've made a special effort to book the leisure centre and some of his friends for table tennis or badminton or something
I also have a very active daughter who is 11, almost 12 and she doesn't listen whatsoever no matter what her counts are. This is why we try to treat whenever we can, but we're finding that not much is working to keep her counts above 30. (That is also our threshhold for allowing her to do whatever she wants.) Caitlin desperately wants me to sign her up at a gymnastics center so that she can get some of the few things she doesn't know how to do when it comes to tumbling. She does competitive cheer and they do everything from being tossed high up in the air to catching other people to front and back flips and it is done with 20 people at the same time. It really can be dangerous, but Caitlin was already "hooked" before she was even diagnosed and it was very difficult to try to convince her to try another sport that would be less dangerous. We are actually in the process of considering a splenectomy because she has a goal of being a high school cheerleader and being able to cheer for a college as well.
Pauline-mom of Tiffany (age 14) and Caitlin (Chronic ITP, UCTD -age 13)
Current count (Feb 2011): 138
Current dose: 1 mcg/kg
Treatments tried: IVIG (doesnt work), Prednisone (sometimes works with high doses), Nplate (2 years on it-worked, but had to be taken off due to...
Thanx its so great to know that I am not being over protective. It is Zacs consultant who works closely with his hemo. I have sent Zac to a school with small class sizes and so I have a very close relationship with his teachers. The headmistress is wonderful and he will stay in the same school until he is 16 (5 now). I have decided to make it quite clear that heading a ball is going to be out of the question. He will not start tag rugby until year 2. His lowest count was 37 but is 75 at the moment but as mentioned so many times that it could drop quickly and you can't count on bruising, pin pricks etc.
What we have is now & right now we have each other
Thank you received: 13
I know this is a bit different to sports, but i used to always dance when i was younger and i didn't have very many issues with that. I only had to stop because i have a problem with my knees dislocating all the time and i'd fall over when that happened, i didn't stop because of the ITP, but i was never really into the contact sports (my mum was probally relieved at that lol) the only other sport i used to do was swimming, but i agree the contact sports such as football etc, you do have to make sure the count is high enough especially if they are heading the ball, so no i don't think your being over-protective at all.
You've gotta' dance like there's nobody watching,
Love like you'll never be hurt,
Sing like there's nobody listening,
And live like it's heaven on earth.
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