Student Athletes Consider Risks

Courtesy of PxHere.

Courtesy of PxHere.

Jordynn Leigh, Staff Writer

Around 30 million kids take part in some sort of sport, and of those about one-third will experience a severe sports injury. Emergency departments have many visits from school-age children to young adults seeking care for their sport-related injury.

There are many factors that cause kids to be more vulnerable to injury than adults. Their bodies are still developing, making many bones weaker than those of an adult. They also have less balance and stability than adults, which is a main reason for ankle injuries. Overuse injuries are common as well because children can’t recognize the signs and symptoms of an injury. They want to keep playing and doing what they love, resulting in a worse trauma.

These statistics and facts cause a debate on if children should be allowed to play sports like football and soccer. The risk of having your child get severely injured is scary and something all parents fear. Many people believe that kids should not be able to play high risk sports until they are older and less vulnerable to getting hurt.

A child can start a sport such as football as young as five. If a five-year-old falls wrong, gets hit with the ball, or collides with another player, they could suffer from a concussion or other serious injury. A concussion at this young of an age can affect their learning and growth development along with many other things.

Of course, the other side of the debate is that sports are valuable in a kid’s life and the benefits outweigh the risks. Sports have many health benefits in young children. It helps with physical development, making sure kids stay active and fit. It also teaches them important lessons about sportsmanship, teamwork, and competition settings. Sports can help keep kids on the right path in life as they grow older.

Coach Dane Brevoort, the assistant soccer coach and culinary teacher at WSHS, believes that there should be some restrictions and rules when it comes to sports at young ages.

“They (young athletes) should be trained properly and opposed to having volunteer coaches I believe every coach should be licensed in their sport.”

Chloe Hagan, a freshman volleyball player and weightlifter, does not think there should be and restrictions.

“That’s a decision for the parents and kids to make but they should be allowed to if they want to.”

There are various rewards and risks when it comes to student participation in athletics.  Students, parents and coaches have to consider both when deciding how or if risks can be minimized.