How many injuries before kids should hang up their cleats?
How many concussions would you allow your child to suffer before you decided that perhaps he or she should retire from the travel soccer team?
In the past month alone I have heard about several dozen injuries to young athletes, both on school and athletic teams, and I am starting to wonder how so many families can be obsessed with sports to the point that a child’s health suffers.
I’ve actually heard parents talk about their children’s soccer concussions as if they are a simple headaches: “He had another concussion last week but should be good to go soon.” I know one child who has suffered at least three breaks in his hands from high school football and baseball. His parents know there could be long-term health consequences, but that is less important, somehow, than the glory of youth sports.
There is a story in today’s Post about companies that have redesigned football helmets to cut down on concussions.
It protrays a college football player who suffered three blows on the field in a 12-month period, which left him “in a state of total confusion.”
Why it took until 2009 for companies to make better football helmets for kids is a question perhaps someone else can answer.
But the number of injuries is staggering: The National Center for Sports Safety cites these statistics:
*More than 3.5 million children aged 14 and under receive medical treatment for sports injuries each year.
*Injuries associated with participation in sports and recreational activities account for 21 percent of all traumatic brain injuries among children in the United States.
*Overuse injury, which occurs over time from repeated motion, is responsible for nearly half of all sports injuries to middle-and high-school students. Immature bones, insufficient rest after an injury and poor training or conditioning contribute to overuse injuries among children.
*Most organized sports related injuries (62 percent) occur during practices rather than games. Despite this fact, a third of parents often do not take the same safety precautions during their child’s practices as they would for a game.
*A recent survey found that among athletes ages 5 to 14, 15 percent of basketball players, 28 percent of football players, 22 percent of soccer players, 25 percent of baseball players and 12 percent of softball players have been injured while playing their respective sports.
So I ask you, at what number in the injury count do you consider telling your child that there are better ways to get exercise?
| November 10, 2009; 11:35 AM ET
Tags: youth sports injuries
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Posted by: Bulldeazy | November 10, 2009 2:06 PM | Report abuse
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