You’d be hard-pressed to find a better recipe for disaster than giving a group of kids sticks and blades on their shoes then setting them free on a field of ice; nevertheless, children’s participation in hockey has skyrocketed in the last decade, but their rate of injury has increased even faster.
Experts are not sure why injuries are on the rise, but think it might be related to equipment usage and changes in the culture of children’s sports. Participants ages nine to fourteen saw the biggest rise, with emergency room visits increasing 163% from 1990 to 2006, and with the recent flurry of publicity surrounding concussions, doctors are warning that kids need to be wearing protective equipment at all times, practices included.
Another possible reason is that the sport has become more aggressive over this time period. (Think crazed parents in the stands, and this shouldn’t come as a surprise.) Experts would like to see body-checking banned in pee-wee leagues (duh), especially seeing as traumatic brain injuries are much more likely to occur in younger children.
So, mama grizzlies, slap a mask and forty pounds of pads on that baby bear. That’ll put hair on their wee chests.
Full story at Newswise.
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