No Big Surprise Parents Fear Sports Injuries For Their Kids. Now What Do We Do About It?

The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) was a key contributor at this month's Project Play Roundtable, "What Do Mothers Want from Youth Sports?" Hosted by the Aspen Institute Sports & Society Program in partnership with ESPN, the roundtable brought together a diverse group of stakeholders in the area of safety in youth sports.

Hearing directly from parents at the roundtable -- and indirectly through ESPN survey results shared at the event -- was both compelling and insightful. While supportive, and even passionate, about their children's participation in youth sports, a number of concerns were also shared. To no one's surprise, the risk of injury to young athletes is the largest concern. Children are their parents' pride and joy, their most valuable possession. And while the joy of watching their kids have fun and compete in youth sports is unquestioned, their well-being is priority No. 1.

That's why more than 85 percent [PDF] of these parents listed safety as the biggest concern. Concussions and other head injuries not only top the headlines these days, they top the list of fears among parents as well. In fact, one-quarter of the parents surveyed have considered keeping their children from playing a sport because of fears of a concussion or other head injury.

These sentiments by parents are a loud call to action for the health community at large to engage more fully with youth sports organizations, events, and participants. While much dialogue and work is underway in regard to concussions, additional and different measures need to be taken. Only through a large-scale mobilization and engagement between the medical community and those involved with youth sports will the risks become better understood, prevention rise, and treatment improve. In the end, a new level of safety, in both appearance and reality, will be enjoyed in youth sports.

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Source: Huffington Post