Orthopedics, sports medicine

Children and contact sports: to play or not to play?

Should children be allowed to compete in contact sports?

Many experts in neurodevelopment suggest that kids stay away from contact sports, such as tackle football, until they are at least 14.

As we learn more about the rapidly developing brains in childhood and adolescence, we become increasingly cautious about letting young children compete in those sports.

But some doctors think the benefits of sports outweigh the risks. They say for children, sports:

  • Increase their physical health, cardiovascular conditioning, strength, and endurance
  • Improve their self-image
  • Decrease the risk of obesity
  • Help them learn that they can improve their performance and skills through practice and hard work
  • Teach, in team sports, how to interact with their peers, to assist those who are less skilled, and to learn from those who are more highly skilled
  • Teach them how to cooperate and how to lead
  • Increase the chances that they will lead more active lifestyles as adults.

But what about the risk of injury?

Most young athletes, experts say, will recover completely from their injuries. Some doctors think that while we should try to decrease the number of injuries suffered by athletes, and treat injuries appropriately when they occur, young athletes should be encouraged to continue to participate in sports.

Even after suffering a concussion, young athletes can return as long as it is medically safe to do so, some doctors believe.

At Signature Medical Group, our team of pediatricians and children’s orthopedic specialists will work with young athletes to make sure they’re safe and fit to participate in athletics.

Our commitment to continuing education assures you treatment with the most recent knowledge, techniques and technology for the highest quality of care. Our physicians and staff understand the importance of communication. We encourage our patients to ask questions to fully comprehend their condition/injury and the treatment options available to them.

So if you want your kids to get in the game or need more information, make an appointment today with a Signature Medical Group doctor.