AAP, CPS Oppose Boxing for Children and Adolescents

Doctors should oppose boxing; encourage sports which don't involve blows to the head

TUESDAY, Aug. 230 (HealthDay News) -- The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the Canadian Paediatric Society (CPS) oppose boxing for children and adolescents, and recommend that physicians encourage participation in alternate sports that do not involve head blows, according to a policy statement by the AAP and the CPS, published online Aug. 28 in Pediatrics.

Claire M. A. LeBlanc, M.D., from the Council on Sports Medicine and Fitness Committee, AAP, and Laura Purcell, M.D., from the Healthy Active Living and Sports Medicine Committee, CPS, and colleagues discussed boxing-related injuries in children and adolescents, and return-to-play (RTP) guidelines after sports-related concussions.

The authors reported that the AAP and the CPS oppose boxing as a sport for children and adolescents because of its risk of head, neck, and facial injuries. Among combat sports, boxing has the highest prevalence of hospital admissions, which occur more commonly during competitions than during training. Boxing-related concussions are of concern in children and adolescents, who are likely to take longer to recover than adults. AAP and CPS-endorsed guidelines for RTP for children and adolescents following sports-related concussions, include physical and cognitive rest until complete resolution of symptoms. Concussion management and RTP decisions should be individualized based on symptom resolution. It is recommended that pediatricians should vigorously oppose boxing for any child or adolescent; educate those involved in boxing about the medical risks; encourage young athletes to participate in alternative sports that do not involve intentional blows to the head; and advocate proper medical care by boxing organizations to children and adolescents participating in the sport.

"Because of the risk of head and facial injuries, the AAP and the CPS oppose boxing as a sport for children and adolescents," the authors write.

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