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lovinmyboys

Kind of s/o dangerous sports

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I have 4 boys. They have so far done sports that I consider “safe.” Last year we went snowboarding for the first time, and this winter I am thinking of letting them do the developmental team. It is just once a week lessons and a season pass to practice. Also, my two younger kids are wanting to do ice hockey (I may have put that off too long for this year.) Anyway, it just occurred to me that I would never let them play tackle football, but hockey and snowboarding are probably just as dangerous. 

Do you think about the risks when helping your kids choose sports? Do you avoid the riskier ones, seek them out (risk is good for kids), or just not worry about it? 

 

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Yes, I considered risks when my children chose sports. Sometimes, there were sports that were not ones I would have even let them consider (thankfully they never chose those anyways).  Sometimes, sports that had risks were allowed, but I made sure proper gear and coaching was in place to help lower those risks.

There are so many types of injuries, it is hard to compare. Here is one article  that looks at head injury from 2009.

Snip from Sports Related Head Injury article At the American Association of Neurological Surgeons.

Included in these statistics are not only sports/recreational activities, but the equipment and apparel used in these activities. For example, swimming-related injuries include the activity as well as diving boards, equipment, flotation devices, pools and water slides.

The following 20 sports/recreational activities represent the categories contributing to the highest number of estimated head injuries treated in U.S. hospital emergency rooms in 2009.

  • Cycling: 85,389
  • Football: 46,948
  • Baseball and Softball: 38,394
  • Basketball: 34,692
  • Water Sports (Diving, Scuba Diving, Surfing, Swimming, Water Polo, Water Skiing, Water Tubing): 28,716
  • Powered Recreational Vehicles (ATVs, Dune Buggies, Go-Carts, Mini bikes, Off-road): 26,606
  • Soccer: 24,184
  • Skateboards/Scooters: 23,114
  • Fitness/Exercise/Health Club: 18,012
  • Winter Sports (Skiing, Sledding, Snowboarding, Snowmobiling): 16,948
  • Horseback Riding: 14,466
  • Gymnastics/Dance/Cheerleading: 10,223
  • Golf: 10,035
  • Hockey: 8,145
  • Other Ball Sports and Balls, Unspecified: 6,883
  • Trampolines: 5,919
  • Rugby/Lacrosse: 5,794
  • Roller and Inline Skating: 3,320
  • Ice Skating: 4,608

The top 10 sports-related head injury categories among children ages 14 and younger:

  • Cycling: 40,272
  • Football: 21,878
  • Baseball and Softball: 18,246
  • Basketball: 14,952
  • Skateboards/Scooters: 14,783
  • Water Sports: 12,843
  • Soccer: 8,392
  • Powered Recreational Vehicles: 6,818
  • Winter Sports: 6,750
  • Trampolines: 5,025
Edited by Tap
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I did consider the risks - not so much of serious injury or death as of the likeliness of concussions. It's very common for certain sports to result in repeated concussions, including minor ones that often go undetected. With what we know about the harmful effects of concussions on mental and physical health, I was very uncomfortable with the idea of encouraging that kind of sport at a young age. That would have included tackle football and hockey along with soccer (a much likelier sport for us, lol). I don't know about snowboarding. 

I can't recall when the recommendation to wait until at least 12-14 became a thing, but I was never keen on children risking head injury. Recreational soccer is a big thing around here, they could have played at a park a two-minute walk away, but I couldn't see how whacking the ball with your head was a good idea. I definitely think repeatedly injuring the brain, even well below dx'd concussion levels, can have long-term negative effects. 

My ideal would be no sports with high risk of concussion, but (if it had become a thing) I probably would have addressed it again when they reached high school if they truly showed a sustained interest in a certain sport and I thought there were positives that couldn't be gained otherwise. I didn't allow soccer when they were young and I'm pretty sure I would have held strong on that at least until high school. 

And yeah, hockey but not football is probably not a strong logical stance, lol. I'd research the actual risks and the latest studies and think about what sports at what age I'm comfortable with before making decisions. I do think deciding that the benefits outweigh the risks for certain activities can be reasonable. We all have different comfort levels and view risk through a different lens. I didn't allow soccer at 9, but I did allow casual sidewalk bike riding without a helmet, which would horrify many. 

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I used to snowboard.   Once I was alone on a hard, icy hill, going super fast, caught an edge and tumbled end over end several times and the board got stuck uphill from me and I was twisted below.  I was stunned and had to get creative to get untwisted and out, but it occurred to me I could have gotten seriously hurt! Oh, and I had no helmet.  So I only went a handful of times after that and mainly stick to cross country skiing now.  We are teaching the kids downhill skiing this year though.  I remember hearing that snowboarding didn't have as many accidents as skiing, but I feel I have more control when skiing.

My kids are playing hockey. It's not as rough as it used to be.  I do tell them to keep their head up because I've heard of paralysis when kids crash with head down into boards or net.

I will not own a trampoline (even though I had one as a kid).  My nephew had a concussion recently at a trampoline park, and I know another girl that broke her leg at one, and my daughter broke a finger at a bounce house park.  Hockey is fine but trampolines are dangerous!

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30 minutes ago, Tap said:

Yes, I considered risks when my children chose sports. Sometimes, there were sports that were not ones I would have even let them consider (thankfully they never chose those anyways).  Sometimes, sports that had risks were allowed, but I made sure proper gear and coaching was in place to help lower those risks.

There are so many types of injuries, it is hard to compare. Here is one article  that looks at head injury.

Snip from Sports Related Head Injury article At the American Association of Neurological Surgeons.

Included in these statistics are not only sports/recreational activities, but the equipment and apparel used in these activities. For example, swimming-related injuries include the activity as well as diving boards, equipment, flotation devices, pools and water slides.

The following 20 sports/recreational activities represent the categories contributing to the highest number of estimated head injuries treated in U.S. hospital emergency rooms in 2009.

  • Cycling: 85,389
  • Football: 46,948
  • Baseball and Softball: 38,394
  • Basketball: 34,692
  • Water Sports (Diving, Scuba Diving, Surfing, Swimming, Water Polo, Water Skiing, Water Tubing): 28,716
  • Powered Recreational Vehicles (ATVs, Dune Buggies, Go-Carts, Mini bikes, Off-road): 26,606
  • Soccer: 24,184
  • Skateboards/Scooters: 23,114
  • Fitness/Exercise/Health Club: 18,012
  • Winter Sports (Skiing, Sledding, Snowboarding, Snowmobiling): 16,948
  • Horseback Riding: 14,466
  • Gymnastics/Dance/Cheerleading: 10,223
  • Golf: 10,035
  • Hockey: 8,145
  • Other Ball Sports and Balls, Unspecified: 6,883
  • Trampolines: 5,919
  • Rugby/Lacrosse: 5,794
  • Roller and Inline Skating: 3,320
  • Ice Skating: 4,608

The top 10 sports-related head injury categories among children ages 14 and younger:

  • Cycling: 40,272
  • Football: 21,878
  • Baseball and Softball: 18,246
  • Basketball: 14,952
  • Skateboards/Scooters: 14,783
  • Water Sports: 12,843
  • Soccer: 8,392
  • Powered Recreational Vehicles: 6,818
  • Winter Sports: 6,750
  • Trampolines: 5,025

A few things I find interesting about this list. Is that it doesn't say what percentage of kids who play each sport, get injured. So, while cycling is at the top, I would assume it is because the majority of kids can ride a bike, while not every child has played football.  This is important too, because people don't typically say "don't buy your kid a bike because it is the most common cause of head injury in children under 14".  Every sport carries risks! Sometimes it is about our familiartity or percieved level of danger that guides our parenting decisions.

This grouping cracks me up!  Again, it is about perception. Golf is less dangerous overall than gym/dance/Cheer. But both golf and gym/dance/cheer has more head injuries than hockey! My daughter was a cheerleader. It doesn't seem dangerous, but  seriously(!) you have girls throwing other girls in the air while they do flips and spins mid-air on concrete! Quite often, it wasn't even one person hitting the ground that inflicted the injury, it was heads smacking heads. At least with hockey they get pads and a helmet! LOL

  • Gymnastics/Dance/Cheerleading: 10,223
  • Golf: 10,035
  • Hockey: 8,145
Edited by Tap
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I think it would be interesting to see the percentages too. I’m trying to figure out how golf can be dangerous. Standing too close to someone swinging a club?

My kids all play baseball and it is pretty high on the list, so I guess it isn’t all that “safe.” 

The first time we went on a family bike ride we made it home safely and I was so relieved. I was a little nervous we would get 3 miles from our car and someone would crash. Then, we got home and my 8yr old was taking his bike out of our vehicle and it gashed his leg and he got his first stitches. Obviously, I can never prevent all injuries. 

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We didn’t really consider danger because my son was interested in very few sports. We were just happy he finally found two he liked, karate and skiing. While skiing scared me at times, especially as his skill level improved, he always wore a helmet and never had an injury. He only had one injury in many years of karate, and it was relatively minor. He also did lots of swimming, bike riding, scootering, and general Y fitness classes, but was really lucky as far as injuries were concerned. Ultimately though he ended up with a serious chronic injury that required major surgery, but that was likely a combo of nature and nurture.

My husband and I were both daredevils trying to keep up with older siblings, so were both frequent visitors to the ER. I was a total tomboy and was hospitalized for two concussions by the time I was six. So having an average risk taker for a child made me not too concerned about injuries. Plus, the chances of us having a child interested in a sport like football were pretty much zero and hockey is not a thing here. My husband likely would have not allowed wrestling (and he is generally not at all the type to forbid things) because he thought it seriously messed with his own health and growth. But our son wasn’t interested, so it was never an issue.

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53 minutes ago, Tap said:

A few things I find interesting about this list. Is that it doesn't say what percentage of kids who play each sport, get injured. So, while cycling is at the top, I would assume it is because the majority of kids can ride a bike, while not every child has played football.  This is important too, because people don't typically say "don't buy your kid a bike because it is the most common cause of head injury in children under 14".  Every sport carries risks! Sometimes it is about our familiartity or percieved level of danger that guides our parenting decisions.

This grouping cracks me up!  Again, it is about perception. Golf is less dangerous overall than gym/dance/Cheer. But both golf and gym/dance/cheer has more head injuries than hockey! My daughter was a cheerleader. It doesn't seem dangerous, but  seriously(!) you have girls throwing other girls in the air while they do flips and spins mid-air on concrete! Quite often, it wasn't even one person hitting the ground that inflicted the injury, it was heads smacking heads. At least with hockey they get pads and a helmet! LOL

  • Gymnastics/Dance/Cheerleading: 10,223
  • Golf: 10,035
  • Hockey: 8,145

I’m guessing it’s because so few kids do hockey. It’s seems fairly concentrated in certain parts of the country, and from stories about my niece’s experience with it, can be a very expensive sport.

Also, emergency room visits leave out lots of injuries. My niece had two concussions and a major leg injury while doing soccer, but never went to the ER for any of them. All were handled at urgent care and/or doctor’s visits. Depending on location and time of day, urgent care may not be an option, which could also skew the statistics.

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No hockey or football here. I'm glad we're done with competitive gymnastics and diving. We see a LOT hockey injuries here, due to the prevalence of the sport. We have a friend down the road with major brain damage from the "second hit" in hockey--in fact, the concussion protocol for high schoolers across the US stems from his injury. He functions on about a 5yo level now, though he's in his 20's. 

All that said, both my dd's career-ending injuries were from the Army. One has had 3 hip surgeries and is facing another due to over training. And my youngest fell on the assault course and shattered her leg last year. Both of them are unable to Commission as officers. 

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3 hours ago, lovinmyboys said:

Do you think about the risks when helping your kids choose sports? Do you avoid the riskier ones, seek them out (risk is good for kids), or just not worry about it? 

 

When the ultrasound revealed that we were having a boy, I told my husband then that there would be no football or hockey.  Growing up, my oldest asked more than once to play football, but that was the only sport he asked to play that we said he couldn't.  (He ended up playing IM flag football in college and still plays today, though.)

Ironically, my boys have both required major surgeries due to injuries sustained from "safer" sports - baseball and tennis.  

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4 hours ago, Frances said:

I’m guessing it’s because so few kids do hockey. It’s seems fairly concentrated in certain parts of the country, and from stories about my niece’s experience with it, can be a very expensive sport.

Also, emergency room visits leave out lots of injuries. My niece had two concussions and a major leg injury while doing soccer, but never went to the ER for any of them. All were handled at urgent care and/or doctor’s visits. Depending on location and time of day, urgent care may not be an option, which could also skew the statistics.


My kid does hockey.  It can be an expensive sport, but it also can be pretty affordable.  We pay about $80/mo for ds to play: 5 days of ice time and an hour with personal trainers every week.  His gear is mostly bought used, and we turn in his old gear to the resale shop so we offset the cost there. Uniforms were $150, so that was a big expense this year, but we won't have to buy next year.  And to get him started we did a Learn To Play program, where a major NHL team sponsors learners and offsets the cost so parents pay about $125 for a full kit: from skates to helmet and everything in between, PLUS 6 weeks of 1 hour weekly lessons included.  My big complaint is the time it sucks away from family life, but honestly for the price we pay we get our money's worth and more.

I do take into account the danger of various sports, but also danger of various programs.  We did not keep ds at the same rink when he moved out of his last age bracket.  The rink he's at revamped their program a few years ago after participating in a annual coach trip to countries with low injury rates.  They found that their focus on team play and building specific hockey skills was actually hurting the kids as they aged.  They moved their focus to agility, coordination, and individual player development and the stats went significantly down when the kids got to the teens.  My kid's team looks pretty ragged and practices look crazy weird, with everyone being split up into groups of 2-3.  They have yet to win a game.  But I can see my own kid's coordination making leaps and bounds.

And he still got hurt last night. 😄 Not even on the ice so I don't think we can count it as a hockey injury.  One of the kids on his team has impulse issues and decided to horseplay while waiting for the personal trainers to start their gym time.  My kid got pushed into a rack of weights and ended up with a nasty gash on his head.  He was checked out by the trainer, and then a parent who is an actual nurse, and I still nearly made a stop at our urgent care center on the way home.  But I can say that it has been his only injury so far at this program.
 

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I definitely did consider the risks. For instance, football was out, period.

BUT, I also considered the benefits, in sports and in life. I’ve encouraged tree climbing, trampoline jumping, playing with hammers and nails, romping through tick infested woods (all we have are tick infested woods!), etc.  My son got a concussion playing baseball. My daughter’s been taken by ambulance on a fire scene.  I have broken my foot walking my dogs! My husband has had fiery pieces of roof fall on him.

I anticipate injuries. I’ve just never found football to be worth the high risk.  If hockey had been available to our kids, we probably would have had a serious conversation about it. Dh was a hockey player, and it was a very big deal to him. It wouldn’t have been a “given” for us, but it’s likely we would have allowed it.  But still no football!

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I also wonder how things like culture effect those stats, how the injury happens, etc. So in baseball if you get a ball to the head they are more likely to take you to the ER I think than if you smack helmet to helmet with another player at football practice. Both kids may have concussions but only one treated. 

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8 hours ago, lovinmyboys said:

I have 4 boys. They have so far done sports that I consider “safe.” Last year we went snowboarding for the first time, and this winter I am thinking of letting them do the developmental team. It is just once a week lessons and a season pass to practice. Also, my two younger kids are wanting to do ice hockey (I may have put that off too long for this year.) Anyway, it just occurred to me that I would never let them play tackle football, but hockey and snowboarding are probably just as dangerous. 

Do you think about the risks when helping your kids choose sports? Do you avoid the riskier ones, seek them out (risk is good for kids), or just not worry about it? 

 

We ruled out football but my boys played hockey. And I thank the hockey gods that they never had a serious injury. I still wonder how that happened, especially since one was so fearless and single-minded in his position. He counted on his teammates to do their job so he could do his...But kids are kids and sometimes get distracted...

In hindsight, I wish we had added a "lifetime" sport or two. They still exercise, but the option for competitive team sports plummets after high school especially in specialty positions.

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The risks of a non-active lifestyle are much higher, especially in our family with known heart disease and diabetes risks. I really struggle to find exercise that I enjoy. I hope that since I’ve pushed my kids into some rec league level sports that they will become adults who think exercise is tolerable and a norm for life. 

For the soccer league that we use, heading the ball isn’t allowed for kids under 12. I have seen concussion risk from falling on a wood gym floor (indoor leagues) or two players colliding. However, I know that my kids have amazing running endurance. I have never ran a comfortable half mile, even when we had to every day in high school gym class. I doubt that they will play soccer beyond high school but I hope that they continue to run, swim, bike or ski as adults. Their long term health is very dependent on remaining active.

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When my dd joined her rugby team, I was freaked out by the possibility of a TBI. At the first team meeting, there was a girl with a concussion and I was about to call it quits but I got to talking with the girl's mom. It turned out that she got the concussion in orchestra. She tripped on the risers and saved her cello but hit her head. After watching a season's worth of tournaments, the most common injuries are ankles and knees by far. In fact, no one on T's team had a concussion except cello girl all season. I'm glad that I didn't automatically say no because if dd didn't play rugby, she wouldn't play any sport at all. There are few sports that you can start in high school and after her rowing team imploded, I thought she would have to content herself with zumba class. She loves playing on a team and I'm glad that I didn't say no without checking it out more thoroughly. (I'm still worried about her walking around with her violin though...)

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My husband played football through high school and then chose not to play at a D3 school in college. He has been adamant that he doesn’t want our boys playing football because of the head injury risk and also because of knee and back issues he believes it has caused him. It has worked out in that neither of my boys have had any interest in playing. 

I do require bike helmets, my sister had an accident in elementary school that would have probably killed her had she not been wearing a helmet. Other than riding bikes and climbing trees, my kids haven’t really been interested in “dangerous” sports. 

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We have always joked about some kids being "football kids" or loving contact sports and other being "not football kids." Some kids just love the physical contact and jousting and banging around. We had one who was like that- he had no ball sense- but he thrived in judo. The other boys tried contact sports-but it wasn't "them." 

I think if you have a kid who loves the physical stuff- he or she is going to take risks and seek out sports that suit their personality. The best thing you can do is talk about safety and do the best you can with that. We always required helmets, wrist guards, etc. And the worst injuries have happened in non-contact sports.

But with sports- contact or no contact, injuries happen. And injuries happen just in regular life too.

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11 hours ago, lovinmyboys said:

Do you think about the risks when helping your kids choose sports? Do you avoid the riskier ones, seek them out (risk is good for kids), or just not worry about it? 

Yes, I do consider risk of injury when helping my 3 boys and 1 girl participate in sports. However, there are usually ways of reducing injury in many activities so that one can enjoy the activity. For example, my ds 13 plays homeschool ice hockey where there is minimal physical contact, no fighting, no real checking, full equipment and more scrimmages than actual games. We all wear helmets when cycling and are well lit in the dark, and we try to avoid biking on busy roads, choosing pathways instead. Cycling is where 2 dc sustained broken bones. 

Basketball is the newest sport my boys (ages 13 - 17) are participating in and though they play house league (more recreational level), I am tense watching the games when the inexperienced officials let the play get too rough. Those flying elbows and the differences in body masses and heights among players have the potential for some painful injuries, not to mention the ankle and knee injury potential under the basket. So far we've been fortunate.

They've all participated in recreational soccer for years and haven't sustained any injuries, as well as Taekwon-Do without any injuries.

We nordic ski rather than downhill or snowboard, though this choice is more for economy and logistics rather than safety related.  

Edited by wintermom

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2 hours ago, unsinkable said:

In hindsight, I wish we had added a "lifetime" sport or two. They still exercise, but the option for competitive team sports plummets after high school especially in specialty positions.

This is so true! 

We have been doing some hiking, mountain biking, tennis, snowshoeing and rock climbing/bouldering as the dc get older. These are great "lifetime" physical activities that don't have to be expensive. 

Edited by wintermom
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As far as dangerous activities that are not included on the list (as they aren't "sports") would be walking. Probably tops the list for number of injuries, as everyone walks, and breaking a bone, slipping and sustaining a concussion, etc. happens to all ages. There are probably injuries sustained from sitting in chairs. Just living and breathing seems to have a certain degree of risk! 😉

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We've always focused on lifetime sports. The violinist had settled on swimming, but has recently taken up marathons. She doesn't have time to train, but I'd love to see her do a triathlon with her next younger sister. That kid doesn't have time to train right now either, but is hoping to get back with the tris after this round of sea duty. I wish my middle could still run. 

I didn't even think of skiing and snowboarding. They aren't really sports in my town (though we regularly produce an Olympian or two) but just life. We actually have a ski hill on the far side of the ranch, and the kids all learned to ski at the age of two. Youngest is at a school with lots of skiing, but she won't go as she's been spoiled by CO snow! I dropped the kids off one day at the ski hill and ran errands, and when I got back, they weren't there. The snack bar lady said they'd walked home, and when I got there, they had taken off on Nordic skis. "We found enough stuff in the garage!" 

The kids grew up hiking of course--we're surrounded by national forests and wilderness areas. Dh and youngest just got back from a backpacking trip to Philmont Scout Ranch.

And then there are the horses. Ds never was much into it, but my oldest showed Class A Arabian for years, focusing on dressage. Her next sister did more speed stuff, and even took her gelding to the Air Force Academy, that is until she discovered sky diving! The middle one did a lot of trail riding and just riding in general. My youngest didn't have the advantage of a trainer, so she was never competitive, but she loved her old mares. You might remember one got eaten by a mountain lion 2 years ago. My middle has done the whole rodeo queen thing, riding 90 miles an hour, not looking where she's going, either waving or holding a flag! She just bought a new 2yo, hoping to get into reined cow horse with him. She had a pretty spectacular rodeo on him about a month ago, but stayed on! He was an angel on Sunday at the rodeo grounds, though. 

So, I guess even w/o football and hockey, my kids have all done some fairly wild things. Is flying helicopters a sport? It certainly is dangerous!

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My kids downhill ski and it terrifies me.  esp one who likes glades, or skiing downhill through trees in the woods. Thankfully that one is not competitive and has no interest in ski team. The other one might. One of my kids is also a roller coaster enthusiast and I freak out about that too (because he rides MANY coasters.) I don’t entirely stop them though.  There’s few things they love in life and these are it. I do want my winter weekends back and also I don’t look when I go to the top of the mountain, the trails my kids ski on (I don’t at all). 

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@Margaret in CO  I wish I could visit you. Sounds like heaven! You have all the things I love right on you own property! If you have water for paddling I'd be over the moon. 😍

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My twins did soccer when they were little, played rec baseball for 11 seasons, and started swim team when they were 7.  They quit baseball last fall and now swim 6 days a week.  I know there are risks of concussions, arm/shoulder issues, and I've know people that have broken arms/hands/fingers from being kicked during warm-ups.  I think there are risks with any sport.  I am glad my boys don't play baseball anymore (one was a pitcher), but it was their idea to quit. 

I would not allow hockey or football, but neither have had an interest. I also wouldn't be too happy about soccer at this point either.

But...I am overly cautious about head injuries because my mom died of a traumatic brain injury from falling off her bike while wearing a helmet.  My boys know better than to ever let me see me them not wearing a helmet when riding their bikes -- and it kills me to see them ride them even with a helmet.  

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11 minutes ago, wintermom said:

@Margaret in CO  I wish I could visit you. Sounds like heaven! You have all the things I love right on you own property! If you have water for paddling I'd be over the moon. 😍

Well, you WOULD have to drive an entire mile... 

That's funny--this whole discussion of dangerous sports, I didn't even think of boating. You'd think I would have, since that's how Ed was killed. Paddling is just part of my kids' lives. 

Taylor River race 09 047.jpg

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I consider risks yes but some kids need that risk and I think even a dangerous sport is better than the things the daredevil kids get into alone.  I think some of us need that risk.  When I stopped playing college soccer (goalie).  I went out and got a motorcycle.  I’ve also done roller derby.  I have had several concussions but their is just some part of me that needs that adrenaline rush.  Middle DD is the same way she loves gymnastic because of the thrill and danger.  She is actually way more talented at running/swimming and wins the local youth Triathlon every year and could qualify to nationals easily based on her times but it just doesn’t fulfill that daredevil need.   

 

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I would allow hockey but not football. The cultures surrounding injuries in the two sports seem to very different, and that matters to me. As far as baseball and softball go, I would teach my kids how to properly slide, dive, avoid dangerous collisions, catch the ball, etc in order to reduce the risks. These are no longer being taught, in my experience, and have led to some very scary things. 

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Just goes to show that culture makes a difference; no one has mentioned the "deadly" sport of rugby. 😉  It seems to be a "new" / old trendy sport in non-British countries, especially among women. There's a new version in the Summer Olympics now, too.  Scares the *** out of me.  As does lacrosse and the Irish game of hurling. Watching hurling is fascinating as long as you don't know anyone out on the field. 

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1 hour ago, Margaret in CO said:

Well, you WOULD have to drive an entire mile... 

That's funny--this whole discussion of dangerous sports, I didn't even think of boating. You'd think I would have, since that's how Ed was killed. Paddling is just part of my kids' lives. 

Taylor River race 09 047.jpg

I am definitely over the moon and back again! Love ww kayaking (at least in theory). Never actually tried it on white water, but learned a lot of the skills on flat water.

Edited by wintermom

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30 minutes ago, wintermom said:

I am definitely over the moon and back again! Love ww kayaking (at least in theory). Never actually tried it on white water, but learned a lot of the skills on flat water.

image.png.e63ec8af544db2c2b1628260ddb8d515.png

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14 hours ago, Tap said:

A few things I find interesting about this list. Is that it doesn't say what percentage of kids who play each sport, get injured. So, while cycling is at the top, I would assume it is because the majority of kids can ride a bike, while not every child has played football.  This is important too, because people don't typically say "don't buy your kid a bike because it is the most common cause of head injury in children under 14".  Every sport carries risks! Sometimes it is about our familiartity or percieved level of danger that guides our parenting decisions.

This grouping cracks me up!  Again, it is about perception. Golf is less dangerous overall than gym/dance/Cheer. But both golf and gym/dance/cheer has more head injuries than hockey! My daughter was a cheerleader. It doesn't seem dangerous, but  seriously(!) you have girls throwing other girls in the air while they do flips and spins mid-air on concrete! Quite often, it wasn't even one person hitting the ground that inflicted the injury, it was heads smacking heads. At least with hockey they get pads and a helmet! LOL

  • Gymnastics/Dance/Cheerleading: 10,223
  • Golf: 10,035
  • Hockey: 8,145

You have to compare injuries related to participation rates.  Hockey has a very low participation rate in the US. My guess is that the head injuries/participant is >>> than golf.

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47 minutes ago, wintermom said:

Just goes to show that culture makes a difference; no one has mentioned the "deadly" sport of rugby. 😉  It seems to be a "new" / old trendy sport in non-British countries, especially among women. There's a new version in the Summer Olympics now, too.  Scares the *** out of me.  As does lacrosse and the Irish game of hurling. Watching hurling is fascinating as long as you don't know anyone out on the field. 

Someone mentioned dingy* (leaving this bc my tablet changed rugby to dingy LOL) upthread...

One of the most gruesome (to me, anyway) sports injuries a friend of mine in healthcare dealt with was a girl whose knee cap was crushed and shifted at the same time during a rugby game. It wasn't very painful, after the first few minutes following the injury.

Her leg started turning black soon after bc she had torn so many vessels. They were able to save her leg, thank God.

Such a horrible thing. Different cause but just as gruesome is when addicts inject into an artery instead of a vein and the limb starts to die.

Edited by unsinkable

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58 minutes ago, wintermom said:

Just goes to show that culture makes a difference; no one has mentioned the "deadly" sport of rugby. 😉  It seems to be a "new" / old trendy sport in non-British countries, especially among women. There's a new version in the Summer Olympics now, too.  Scares the *** out of me.  As does lacrosse and the Irish game of hurling. Watching hurling is fascinating as long as you don't know anyone out on the field. 

Well, actually:

5 hours ago, chiguirre said:

When my dd joined her rugby team, I was freaked out by the possibility of a TBI. At the first team meeting, there was a girl with a concussion and I was about to call it quits but I got to talking with the girl's mom. It turned out that she got the concussion in orchestra. She tripped on the risers and saved her cello but hit her head. After watching a season's worth of tournaments, the most common injuries are ankles and knees by far. In fact, no one on T's team had a concussion except cello girl all season. I'm glad that I didn't automatically say no because if dd didn't play rugby, she wouldn't play any sport at all. There are few sports that you can start in high school and after her rowing team imploded, I thought she would have to content herself with zumba class. She loves playing on a team and I'm glad that I didn't say no without checking it out more thoroughly. (I'm still worried about her walking around with her violin though...)

Women's rugby has been around for a while in Texas. Dd's team is about 15 years old and they're not even one of the oldest or biggest. There are a surprising number of rugby fields hiding out in schools and parks all over the state. Dd's team practices at a middle school most of the time and hosts a tournament at our local high school which has two rugby fields hidden behind its tennis courts. I don't think most people even know they're there.

Dd's team spends a huge amount of time learning to make and take a tackle safely. Play doesn't end when someone's tackled, they need to hold on to the ball and pass it to a team mate. Scrums (the three people bent over on each side trying to kick the ball out formation) look violent but I've never seen a girl get hurt in one beyond getting kicked instead of the ball. 

People tend to freak out about girls playing rugby, but not about martial arts. Which is a little strange when you think about it.

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28 minutes ago, ChocolateReignRemix said:

You have to compare injuries related to participation rates.  Hockey has a very low participation rate in the US. 

Really depends where in the US, and what you consider "very low." You'd probably be surprised at the amount and level of athletes and leagues there are in the US if you think it's very low.

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2 hours ago, wintermom said:

Really depends where in the US, and what you consider "very low." You'd probably be surprised at the amount and level of athletes and leagues there are in the US if you think it's very low.

Not comparable to participation rates in, say, baseball or basketball. Which means comparisons of emergency room injury numbers are meaningless without adjusting for participation numbers.

Screenshot_20191015-135036.png

Edited by maize

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Looking at the participation rates chart and the head injury data posted earlier in this thread, in 2009 there were 34,692 basketball related head injuries treated and only 8,145 hockey related injuries. BUT in that same time period (2010 data) basketball participation rates were 22x hockey participation rates.

If hockey participation rates equalled those of basketball that means we might be looking at 179,190 hockey related head injuries in one year.

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My DD did cheer from age 4 to this past August, and only left the sport due to repetitive strain issues with her joints. At age 4, it was just a dance class, basically, with maybe a forward roll or two added, but by her teens, yeah, it was flipping, spinning, getting hit in the face by someone else's head or foot. There were quite a few injuries on the mat at practice, and it definitely is anxiety producing. DD had great coaches, but even then, you're putting a lot of trust into the hands of kids. 

 

One thing I've noticed is that the older girls tend to drop the sport after a fairly serious injury-the girl who had a concussion last season didn't come back, nor did the one with an ACL tear. Both finished the season, but were done, and both had a hard time when they came back for the end of the season socially because they simply weren't where they were when they were injured. That was a major reason why we pulled DD from the team-making a clean break so she could rehab was harder at first, but it took the pressure to get back quickly off her, with, with a RSI, was important. Both her coach from last season and her current coach agreed-it is hard to keep kids off the mat long enough to heal without a body part in a cast, and the social pressure is high. 

I don't regret the time she spent in the sport, because she gained a lot from it simply because she wanted to do it. But I do think it's a good idea to keep in mind not just the start (the flag football or non-contact sparring or whatever) but the finish. Because it's hard to avoid the ramping up in levels and demands as kids age. 

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1 hour ago, maize said:

Not comparable to participation rates in, say, baseball or basketball. Which means comparisons of numbers of emergency room injury numbers are meaningless without adjusting for participation numbers.

Ya, coming from Canada where hockey is by far the most popular sport in terms of participation and spectator, and knowing that the US probably has at least as many hockey players as Canada, I forget the huge numbers of Americans who play other teams sports. And the US has huge numbers of athletes in almost every other sport, too. It just blows my mind sometimes. 😉  I tend to think in terms of countries with 10% of the US population as my default. 

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2 hours ago, wintermom said:

Really depends where in the US, and what you consider "very low." You'd probably be surprised at the amount and level of athletes and leagues there are in the US if you think it's very low.

It's very low in comparison to other youth sports in most of the country. (We have no leagues where I live or even rinks.)

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I haven't read all the replies but we are completely against competitive contact sports for ds6.

Dh played sports as a kid. He tried all the typical sports for American kids (football, baseball, basketball, soccer, track etc) but his passion was football. He played Pop-Warner from the time he was 8yo. He always told me he never had a concussion playing football, just the wind knocked out of him a few times. When he was 17, he started getting what the doctor called exertion headaches. He would be running on the track as a warm up to football practice and just drop unconscious for no apparent reason. Once he had something to drink and could tell the coach how many fingers he was holding up, he went right back to practice after these episodes. In hindsight, this should have been the first clue that something was wrong.

After high school, dh started getting migraine headaches. They lasted a few hours to a few days and medication could help some but just lots of rest was the only thing that really abated the pain and pressure in his head. Slowly, they started lasting weeks at a time. Then they got so bad that he couldn't hold a job because he had a migraine more often than he didn't have one. Then it got to the point that they were pretty much a daily thing. Without a job and before Obamacare, he couldn't afford to go see specialists with no insurance and no way to pay out of pocket. He couldn't get disability because he couldn't afford to get all the medical paper work necessary to back his story. Once Obamacare allowed him to see doctors that could help and get disability and insurance, we started trying to really find out why he had these constant headaches.

I've lost count of how many specialists we've been to for him over the years. No one could explain why he was more or less healthy but in excruciating pain more often than not. When he was talking to some old football buddies, it occurred to me to ask him what he thought a concussion looked like and he told me when you lose consciousness, that's a concussion. So I had to explain to him that minor concussions can cause damage without losing consciousness. I asked him how many times he was hit hard enough to "see stars" when he was playing football and he and his friends laughed and said "Everyday. That's just how it is when you play football." So he spent years and years suffering minor concussions everyday. That was the clue that finally got us to the right specialists to finally solve the mystery of dh's migraines.  It only took almost 15 years since the "exertion headaches" when he was a teenager.

In two weeks, after trying all the less invasive treatments for over a year now, dh is going in for surgery to implant a brain shunt to drain the excessive cerebrospinal fluid that is causing his headaches that are comparable to having a brain tumor. The condition is a form of hydrocephalus that can be triggered by head injuries, especially frequent or multiple head injuries, that used to be called pseudotumor cerebrii but is now called idiopathic intracranial hypertension(IIH). It is also suspected, but cannot be proven until autopsy, that dh also suffers from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) which is a neurodegenerative condition frequently seen in boxers and football players who sustain multiple head injuries. IIH and CTE can be co-morbid conditions particularly when there is a history of multiple head injuries.

Dh is absolutely adament that ds will not play football or other contact sports like he did as a kid. There are so many other ways for ds to get exercise and take risks without increasing his risk of multiple head injuries. He remembers all the times his coaches would tell him to "walk it off" or "get back in there" when he now knows he had just suffered a brain injury and should have been told to sit down or see a doctor. He was never knocked unconscious so it was assumed that he was fine but the cumulative affect of all the "walk it off"s are what caused his heaches that still affect him to this day.

True, lots of kids play these sports and are fine but to dh, it is not worth the risk for his child to have to suffer and feel the pain he has to deal with everyday due to contact sports. He was so scared when I was pregnant with ds and we still didn't have anything conclusive on what was causing his headaches that it might be something genetic that he might pass to ds. Now that we know what caused his headaches, he still does not want to chance ds having the same fate as him. 

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30 minutes ago, kdsuomi said:

It's very low in comparison to other youth sports in most of the country. (We have no leagues where I live or even rinks.)

A PP posted this. Ice Hockey isn't much different than team swimming. That doesn't seem like a sport with "very low" participation rates. 

CoreParticipation.jpg

Edited by wintermom

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Four of my family members compete in TKD. In fact, we are on a 22 hour road trip to Fall Nationals right now. I'm kind of surprised martial arts weren't on the list. We have seen a kid get his ribs broken. Several girls in Dd16's ring (various rings at many tournaments, but girls she sees regularly) have taken breaks or quit due to concussions. Many girls wear some kind of brace. Dd has broken two bones, neither in a sport. One running down the stairs and one picking up rocks at church camp. Ds13 went down hard two weekends ago, and I was afraid he broke something. He ended up being fine. Ironically, I won't let him play football. Kids give and take kicks to the head but not with the frequency and usually not with the severity of tackles in football.

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18 hours ago, Tap said:

A few things I find interesting about this list. Is that it doesn't say what percentage of kids who play each sport, get injured. So, while cycling is at the top, I would assume it is because the majority of kids can ride a bike, while not every child has played football.  This is important too, because people don't typically say "don't buy your kid a bike because it is the most common cause of head injury in children under 14".  Every sport carries risks! Sometimes it is about our familiartity or percieved level of danger that guides our parenting decisions.

This grouping cracks me up!  Again, it is about perception. Golf is less dangerous overall than gym/dance/Cheer. But both golf and gym/dance/cheer has more head injuries than hockey! My daughter was a cheerleader. It doesn't seem dangerous, but  seriously(!) you have girls throwing other girls in the air while they do flips and spins mid-air on concrete! Quite often, it wasn't even one person hitting the ground that inflicted the injury, it was heads smacking heads. At least with hockey they get pads and a helmet! LOL

  • Gymnastics/Dance/Cheerleading: 10,223
  • Golf: 10,035
  • Hockey: 8,145

I think this is a *really* important point.  The truth is, football isn't even accessible to 99% of all girls.  So basically only 50% of the population can even play such a sport, let alone actually does so.  And then, after you consider that most kids in the US learn to ride a bike, even if they don't participate regularly, PLUS, bike riding is all ages whereas football really doesn't get into the contact stuff until higher up (generally...I haven't known a little league football to be more than flag football...) and that sort of thing just really skews raw numbers.

 

 

Anyway, I let my kids play sports.  My DD23 got pretty good at soccer, but she developed asthma and couldn't play.  And my DD10 plays rec league softball, but she's not going to be some varsity star.  My DD9 will probably be getting into dance or gymnastics once we have a bit more money for such a thing.  DS7 hasn't even really started with sports (other than riding a bike....they all can ride a bike a do daily....another point for the way raw numbers don't really tell the whole story.)  So anyway, the truth is that my kids aren't going to be playing sports at an intense level, or a long time, and provided most basic safety rules are followed, I consider most kids organized sports to be pretty low risk.  Once you get to competitive levels, or situations where kids have been playing a long time, their risk goes up both because of the level of play but also the longer a kid is exposed to a risk, the more likely it is they will see that risk happen.  My kids will probably only play for a couple of years, they will probably not ever play at a competitive level so I am ok with their overall risk.  

 

 

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I've been thinking about this question lately. My kids took up martial arts a couple of years ago and several have started competing. So far they have not done much sparring, and have only competed in non sparring events. While some sparring training is required at our dojo it is only a minority of students who take it up seriously and choose to compete.

I haven't decided yet whether I would try to discourage my kids if they want to try sparring competitively.

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1 hour ago, wintermom said:

A PP posted this. Ice Hockey isn't much different than team swimming. That doesn't seem like a sport with "very low" participation rates. 

CoreParticipation.jpg

It depends on region, though. We have a very high percentage in swimming and a very small percentage in hockey. My experience has also been that most kids who are on swim twims, aren't at the ages listed in that spreadsheet. 

Also, swimming isn't what most would be referring to when talking about typical youth sports. 

Edited by kdsuomi

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My only no was football. No way. If my kids want to play touch football in a field with friends, that would be fine. But no way as an organized sport.

Anything else was on the table though. I'm okay with risk in a general sense, including risk from "extreme" sports like rock climbing or things like that. Honestly, I think BalletBoy is our most likely to be injured - presumably from ballet.

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8 hours ago, wintermom said:

Really depends where in the US, and what you consider "very low." You'd probably be surprised at the amount and level of athletes and leagues there are in the US if you think it's very low.

The injury data was national so the correct comparison is national participation rates.  Hockey participation is dwarfed by other major sports.  Team swimming also has low participation rates.  To put this in perspective, most small communities in rural areas nationwide will not field a single hockey or swim team, but they usually will field multiple basketball and baseball teams at the youth level.  The comparison isn't really even close.

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