Preventable Injuries Sideline One-Third of Young
THURSDAY, April 26 (HealthDay News) -- One in three American
children who plays team sports suffers injuries severe enough to
require medical treatment, according to a national survey released
Tuesday by Safe Kids.
The new survey -- which coincides with Safe Kids Week, April 21
to April 28 -- also found that nine of 10 parents underestimate how
long children should refrain from playing any one sport in order to
protect them from overuse, overtraining and burnout.
Children need to take two to three months (or a season) away
from a specific sport every year in order to avoid those problems,
according to the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American
Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine.
The survey showed that about four of 10 parents underestimate
the amount of fluids a typical youth athlete needs for each hour
they play. In order to prevent dehydration, children require fluids
every 15 to 20 minutes during physical activity.
Ninety-two percent of parents said they rely on coaches to keep
their children safe while playing sports. But nearly half of all
coaches said they have felt pressure to play an injured child in a
game. And three of 10 children think a good player should keep
playing even when they're hurt, unless a coach or other adult makes
Only two in 5 parents know how much sports safety training their
child's coach has received. Even well-trained coaches said they
would like additional training -- with about three-fourths
interested in learning more about preventing concussions and heat
illness. The main factors preventing coaches from getting more
training are cost, lack of time and lack of local sources of
The survey also found that more than half of all coaches believe
there is an acceptable amount of head contact during play without
potentially causing a serious brain injury. It's difficult to tell
the degree of head impact, however, and every precaution should be
taken to protect children from head injuries, according to
Coaching Our Kids to Fewer Injuries: A Report on Youth Sports
"The research findings are particularly alarming because experts tell us more than half of these injuries are preventable," Kate Carr, president and CEO of Safe Kids Worldwide, said in an organization news release. "There is a gap between what we as coaches and parents can do to keep our kids safe and what we're actually doing. With some simple precautions, we can change these troubling statistics and keep our kids healthy and enjoying the benefits of sports."
"Culturally, there's an attitude that injuries are a natural consequence of sports and that good athletes tough it out when they suffer an injury. But that attitude is hurting our kids," Carr noted.
The U.S. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and
Skin Diseases has more about
childhood sports injuries and their
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