Brooke de Lench, the founder of Mom’s Team, has recently been exposed to an interesting question about youth sports; “Are parents who allow young athletes to play contact or collision sports guilty of child abuse?” A very weighty question, however as silly as it appears to most of us, a valid question.
In light of the recent question de Lench wrote a post about it;
On the other hand, while I personally think Dr. Cantu’s recommendation is worthy of serious consideration, I don’t believe parents who allow their kids to start or continue to play collision sports before middle school are engaging in child abuse.
I could not agree more with this statement. There are instances when the line may be crossed; when a parent KNOWINGLY places a child in harm’s way through sports. Yes, this does happen I have witnessed several attempts by overzealous dad’s and mom’s. Fortunately for the child there were people in place to prevent this from happening – another need for athletic trainers and educated coaches.
The case of “child abuse” would be rare, but parents should know all the risks associated with anything their child is going to be undertaking. The risk of any injury is high in sports, this includes concussions, it is part of the territory. We are not going to ban sports, way too many positives, but minimizing the risks through education is a great first step.