America’s pediatricians want to deliver a knockout blow to youth boxing Show Notes

Thursday, May 17, 2012 Host(s): Dr. Bill Maier
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There’s a new sports warning from America’s pediatricians—they say that kids who compete in youth boxing should hang up their gloves. 

According to a story at Health.com, the American Academy of Pediatrics is recommending that doctors "vigorously oppose boxing for any child or adolescent.”  Instead, the pediatricians say parents should steer kids toward other sports.

The pediatricians base their recommendation, in part, on the number of boxing injuries recorded by U.S. and Canadian health officials.

As you might expect, the main concern is serious head injuries. Young boxers have been known to suffer concussions, just like the pros, but the data on head injuries is scarce.

Even more alarming to the pediatricians is that young boxers could develop a condition known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy.  It’s caused by repeated blows to the head and can lead to dementia-like symptoms later in life.  Just think Muhammad Ali.

Those involved in youth boxing say the risks may be overstated, thanks to protective headgear that covers most of the face and padded boxing gloves that absorb punches,

They also stress the benefits young people derive from boxing – benefits like confidence, motivation, physical fitness, and self-discipline.  They say those positives outweigh the risks.

To learn more about this controversy—and to get the pediatrician’s recommendations, go to Health.com and enter “boxing” in the search engine.

I’m Bill Maier for family-friendly, commercial free, WBCL.

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