There is no question that playing sports provides kids with numerous benefits including opportunity for physical exercise, development of important social skills such as learning how to work with others on a team, and even learning good sportsmanship.
But playing sports can also pose some risk of injury for kids. One recent study commissioned by Johnson & Johnson and Safe Kids Worldwide revealed that as many as 1 in 3 children who play team sports are injured seriously enough to require medical treatment.
Even more disturbing, 9 out of 10 parents underestimated the amount of time kids need from any one sport to protect against overuse injuries, and more than half of the coaches surveyed believed that there is an acceptable amount of head contact (the reality is that the symptoms of head injury can often be subtle, and parents and coaches must be vigilant about avoiding head contact and have a child checked out if there is any possibility of a head injury).
As this eye-opening survey indicates, parents and coaches must be more educated about the potential risks of sports injuries, and must learn how to protect kids from getting hurt. We must also learn how to spot the signs of sports injuries and be advocates for our children's health.
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