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Examiner
  • Jerry Plantz: Take precautions on sports injuries

  •  If you have a son or daughter in high school or college sports or have a youngster giving his or her all in pee wee hockey, football, et al, then you should be aware of latest data concerning safety in sports.

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  •  If you have a son or daughter in high school or college sports or have a youngster giving his or her all in pee wee hockey, football, et al, then you should be aware of latest data concerning safety in sports.
    No longer is it macho or brave to be playing without protection that makes any part of your body vulnerable to a crippling or disabling hit.
    Consider a recent incident in the National Hockey League, Marc Staal being hit in the eye by a flying puck . He wasn’t wearing a visor, so now should all players wear visors?
    The league is all for it, but it is a voluntary choice by the players. Still, the players are coming around, for some 73 percent now wear visors. One player has this mixed message, “I won’t wear one, but I make sure my son does.” Parents, take note.
    The National Football League finds that, next to the Super Bowl, player safety has become a highly publicized priority, especially helmet-to-helmet concussions.
    The NFL owners are meeting in Phoenix to formulate a new rule and a foul (outside of the tackle box) for runners and tacklers to use their heads as missiles on each other. Parents, take note.
    While most soccer injuries are to the lower extremities, they are now finding an increase in concussions due to hitting the ball with the head. Parents, take note.
    The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that nearly 30 million children and adolescents participate in youth sports in the United States. High school athletes account for an estimated 2 million injuries and 500,000 doctor visits and 30,000 hospitalizations each year. More than 3.5 million kids under age 14 receive medical treatment for sports injuries each year.
    Children ages 5 to 14 account for nearly 40 percent of all sports-related injuries treated in hospitals. On average the rate and severity of injury increases with a child’s age.
    More than half of all sports injuries in children are preventable. Parents, take note.
    We are not alone. The European Union, which tracks all injuries in sports, has a voluminous database that estimates seven fatalities per year and that almost 6 million participants will need treatment in a hospital. Parents, take note.
    Don’t even think of kick-boxing or boxing. Parents, take note.
    I give you President John Adams’ toast: Independence forever.
    Jerry Plantz lives in Lee’s Summit. His website is at www.Jerryplantz.com. Reach him at jerryplantz@msn.com.
     
     
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