NJ Family—November 17, 2014
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates each year, 1.6 to 3.8 million sports-related concussions occur in the U.S. Of these, 30 percent occur in athletes ages 5 to 19 participating in football, wrestling, girls' soccer, boys' soccer and girls' basketball. All this is causing parents to reconsider their kids' involvement in high-risk sports, says Dr. David Wang, primary care sports medicine physician at Hospital for Special Surgery Paramus Outpatient Center. "They have more questions about the risks of their sport, and participation rates in certain sports seem to be declining." Participation in Pop Warner, the country' biggest youth football program, fell 9.5 percent between 2010 and 2012, the organization's largest decline in decades. The good news is that medical experts predict this decline will lead to increased pressure on the sports organizations to make participation safer. "We have already seen this in football with stricter penalties for targeting the head and in baseball with rule changes to avoid collisions at home plate," says Wang.
This article originally appeared at njfamily.com.