A new survey suggests that a rise in sports injuries has led to a drop in youth sports participation.
Sports have always been an excellent way for children to stay fit, make new friends, and develop skills they’ll carry with them into adulthood. However, with increased competition and an emphasis on winning over fun, parents are concerned about sports injuries and keeping their children out of the game.
A recent poll from the espnW: Women + Sports Summit, shows that 87 percent of parents are worried that the risk of injury is too great, and this deters them from signing their kids up for sports teams.
While the risks shouldn't prevent kids from playing, their parents’ concern isn't unwarranted. News of football-related concussions have been popping up in headlines for years. In this month alone, three high school football players from Alabama, New York, and North Carolina have died from injuries sustained on the field, according to Time Magazine.
In light of these deaths and countless others, the Sports & Fitness Industry Association reported a drop in youth sports participation. Last year, 40 percent of children ages 6-12 participated in sports, a 4.5 percent decrease from 2008. Sports like soccer, football, basketball, and baseball have taken a big hit, while participation in lacrosse and hockey has seen little change.
With a steady decline of participation and an increase in sports related injuries, youth sports administrators will need to implement better safety measures, or put the fun back into the games.