Parents Hold Kids Out

April 15, 2017

A new study focuses on decision making by parents regarding the risk of concussion in sports. It found that more than half of parents surveyed in the U.S. said they would allow their children to participate in sports, considering the benefits to outweigh the risk of concussion. About one-third of parents in the survey said their decision would depend on the sport. Almost 20 percent of parents say they wouldn't allow their childrent to participate regardless of the sport.

According to a press release from PR Newswire, about two-thirds of the parents whose decision depends on the sport would allow their children to play basketball (66 percent) or baseball (63 percent). About half of the parents would allow their children to participate in soccer (57 percent) or gymnastics (47 percent). Wrestling, football, lacrosse, field hockey, hockey, and rugby were the least likely sports for these parents to allow.

Although concussion is a serious injury, Dave Baron, DO, MSEd, director of Global Center for Exercise, Psychiatry and Sport at the University of Southern California, suggests that misinformation may shape parents’ decision making. “The key is not avoiding sports altogether but getting involved with programs that take safety very seriously, have well-trained coaches and provide properly fitting safety gear, like helmets,” Baron said. “There are socio-emotional aspects to sports and I encourage parents to consider all the risks and benefits, rather than focusing on a single risk.”