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Children and Extreme Sports: Would you allow your child to participate?

By August 19, 2008 - 12:39pm
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It is important for kids to be physically active, and play individual or team sport(s) if they choose. What is the line between "sport" and "extreme sport", and if your child showed a preference for an "extreme sport", would you let them participate?

For instance, if you think about safety, would you allow your child play: tennis, baseball/softball, basketball, BMX bike racing, snowboarding, kid's motorcycle racing, football, ballet, chess (just kidding)...

Sports injuries are likely to occur, and the injuries sustained from extreme sports are usually more serious (especially if no protective gear is worn) than compared to the "traditional" sports. The injuries from "traditional" sports are typically found to be related to repetitive-motion or environment ("heat stress", for example).

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HERWriter Guide

In Ireland, kids are often involved in sports like Hurling (which I found out when I moved to the States, that hurling means throwing up!) and that's pretty extreme. It is a very fast sport, a bit like hockey, but on a pitch, with no real body protection (imagine ice-hockey with no protection!) although many players are now wearing mouth guards because you know a hurler from how many teeth he... hasn't!

Rugby is also pretty extreme and one can get bad injuries by horse riding or biking. It would be difficult to say no to your kid if he or she was passionate about something but I'd have to say car racing wouldn't get past me.

However, look at how many kids are injured playing basketball! And even piano can cause Carpal Tunnel (repetitive injury strain)Syndrome.

I'd have to take it on a sport-by-sport basis. I want them to have a healthy fear of danger but at the same time I want them to explore new things and enjoy some great sporting adventures!

August 20, 2008 - 1:26pm

It's really difficult to make the argument against extreme sports when there are organizations trying to get some of those sports into the Olympics - and, in some cases, succeeding. Snowboarding and BMX cycling are two such examples.

Kids want to do whatever is "cool," and, unfortunately, that can equate to "dangerous." I didn't want my kids to grow up afraid to try something; but, fortunately, the boys did exercise some common sense and emerged unscathed from their adventures. One even won his first - and only - BMX competition; but quit when a kid was severely injured at another BMX event on the same course.

That's a tough way to learn from example.

August 19, 2008 - 5:21pm
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