How Safe are Youth Sports?


As moms, all we want to do is keep our children safe, healthy, and happy. Sports can be a great way to ensure their health and happiness, but what about safety? With all the horror stories of traumatic injuries out there, it can be hard to balance the risks and benefits. 


If your child wants to participate in sports, there are lots of great skills they can learn. They’ll be away from the screens and spending time with their friends, being active. But what about the “what ifs”? What if something happens to them that makes you regret letting them participate?


It’s a tough call and it’s important to weigh the pros and cons. Getting as much information as possible will help you make the right decision for your family. Here’s what you need to know about the safety of youth sports and how to choose the safest options for your child. 

Pros & Cons: The Physical & Psychological Risks and Rewards of Youth Sports

Anything that gets kids active and moving is a win these days. With the strong pull of technology, it’s always exciting to see your kids show interest in sports. But the benefits of youth sports go far beyond the physical wins of exercise and fresh air. 

Benefits of youth sports include skill-building: hand/eye coordination, perseverance, and resilience are just a few. Kids also learn about teamwork, trust, good sportsmanship, and developing a work ethic. 

On the other hand, there are cons, too. There’s always some risk of physical injury. Of course, your child could be injured in many ways, both on and off the field. Some sports are much more dangerous than others, however, 

There are also potential psychological risks as well. Coaches who bully players or put endless pressure on them to succeed do much more harm than good. Youth sports should be about having fun, being active, and building skills, not becoming obsessed with winning or feeling bad about parents’ and coaches’ expectations. 

How to Choose a Safe Sport for Your Child

With these risks and benefits in mind, it’s important to balance them out as much as possible. One of the best ways to ensure that your child is getting the benefits of youth sports while minimizing risks is by choosing a safer sport for them to participate in. 

Sports-related concussions (SRCs) are a real concern in many youth sports. Around 1-1.8 million SRCs occur in children under 18. While many of these concussions are relatively minor, some can lead to complications or cause problems later in life. 

Avoiding head trauma, especially in children whose brains have not yet fully developed, is crucial for health and well-being. Because of this, sports like football and gymnastics can be particularly risky for young athletes. 

Depending on what’s available in your area, you may not have many choices when it comes to youth sports. But some of the safer options include swimming, volleyball, track, and baseball. These sports all involve some risks, but they may pose fewer injury risks. All sports should involve the proper use of safety equipment. 

Helping Your Children Understand the Risks 

If your child wants to engage in a high-risk sport like football, it can be hard to say no. After all, their enthusiasm and excitement matter! Ultimately, though, you need to have some tough conversations about the risks and benefits and make a decision as a family. 

While you don’t want to discourage your child’s interest in sports, they need to be aware of the risks so they can take precautions if they do end up participating. Make sure they know how important protective gear is, how warming up can prevent injury, and how to play so they can reduce the risks as much as possible. 

How to Ensure Your Child Is Getting Active With or Without Sports 

It’s hard to keep kids active, especially with all of the devices available to them and the restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, studies show that internet use among children doubled at the beginning of the pandemic. Kids will usually sit in front of a screen all day if you let them, which can easily lead to a host of problems relating to inactivity. It’s essential to get kids moving frequently, whether they are participating in sports or not. 

One of the best ways to get kids active, aside from playing outside with their friends, is to get the whole family involved. You need to be a good role model and engage in active hobbies yourself, preferably with your kids. Family hikes, yoga, and playing games outside are all great activities to encourage a more active lifestyle. 

About Author

LaDonna Dennis

LaDonna Dennis is the founder and creator of Mom Blog Society. She wears many hats. She is a Homemaker*Blogger*Crafter*Reader*Pinner*Friend*Animal Lover* Former writer of Frost Illustrated and, Cancer...SURVIVOR! LaDonna is happily married to the love of her life, the mother of 3 grown children and "Grams" to 3 grandchildren. She adores animals and has four furbabies: Makia ( a German Shepherd, whose mission in life is to be her attached to her hip) and Hachie, (an OCD Alaskan Malamute, and Akia (An Alaskan Malamute) who is just sweet as can be. And Sassy, a four-month-old German Shepherd who has quickly stolen her heart and become the most precious fur baby of all times. Aside from the humans in her life, LaDonna's fur babies are her world.

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