More than one-fourth of kids say it's normal to purposely foul hard and "send a message" when they're playing sports, according to a new survey on youth injuries.
With 3,400 kids suffering sports injuries every day that are serious enough to warrant a trip to the emergency room, the non-profit Safe Kids Worldwide examined youth sports culture to figure out why so many kids are getting hurt. The organization, which aims to prevent childhood injuries, worked in conjunction with Johnson & Johnson to survey 1,000 kids (in 7th to 10th grades), 1,000 parents and 1,005 coaches about frequency of injury as well as awareness and prevention.
Here are some statistics that parents might want to look at before the season starts:
- 28% of athletes say it's normal to play rough and "send a message," and one-third have been injured as a result
- 42% of kids say they have hidden an injury, or down-played it, so they could keep playing; 62% know someone who has done it
- 54% of athletes say they have played injured, even though 70% of them told their parents or coaches about the injury — 27% of those injuries were sprains and 7% were broken or dislocated bones
- Half of coaches say they have played an athlete with an injury
- 94% of parents think their kids' coaches are knowledgable about injury prevention, but less than half of coaches have received certification to prevent—or even figure out—when injuries actually occur. Thirty-eight percent of school coaches have received certified training on how to recognize and prevent overuse injuries
"We need more education, not just for coaches, but for parents and athletes, too," former NCAA coach Jack Crowe said in a statement. "There are steps we can take to prevent most serious injuries, and one of the most important is to give athletes a chance to heal when they do get hurt."