The rate of youth concussions in contact sports is on the rise and parents all over the country have voiced their concerns on whether their children should be participating in such “dangerous” activities. The University of Kansas Hospital recently shared an article revealing the facts and myths regarding concussions.
With so many youth concussion stories in the news now, some parents are advocating banning contact sports altogether in order to prevent concussions. However, awareness and safety education is the answer, not banning. There are ways to help prevent these risks on the field so children can have the opportunity to continue participating in contact sports.
The University of Kansas Hospital states that if a concussion is not treated early, it can “lead to post-concussion syndrome, with prolonged symptoms that affect memory, physical and emotional functioning for many months to years.”
The possible risk of children facing these symptoms is understandably devastating to parents. While it may seem safe and easy to ban anything that may cause harm to our children, it is impossible to protect them from everything. Contact sports are not the only reasons for concussions, so banning these sports all together will simply decrease the risk, not diminish it entirely.
Other examples of reasons for concussions include:
Sports such as football require players to wear all of the necessary protective gear when participating, such as:
By providing your child with the appropriate protective gear, you can greatly reduce the risk of injury on the field. Also, talk to your athlete child about staying safe on the field and to report any and all injuries right away.
While there may be some risky downfalls with letting our children participate in contact sports, there are also many benefits that come along with it. Aside from the obvious fitness benefits, taking part in a sports team teaches our children:
When this controversial issue of whether to ban contact sports is looked at in a positive versus negative scenario, the pros greatly outweigh the cons. So let your children play contact sports if they are passionate about them.