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Pee Wee Concussions; Cheerleader Safety Rules

First we have this from the New York Times:

A 5-Concussion Pee Wee Game Leads to Penalties for the Adults

By KEN BELSON | Tues October 23, 2012

It took just one play on Sept. 15 to suggest the game between the Southbridge Pop Warner pee wees and their rivals, the Tantasqua Braves, could mean trouble. Two Tantasqua players were hit so hard that their coach pulled them off the field. An emergency medical technician on the sidelines evaluated the boys, grew worried that they might have concussions, and had them take their pads off.

Six plays into the game, another Brave was removed after a hard hit. An official with the Tantasqua team said the eyes of one of the boys were rolling back in his head.

But the game, an obvious mismatch between teams from neighboring towns in central Massachusetts, went on, with Southbridge building a 28-0 lead in the first quarter…

[T]he touchdowns kept coming, and so did the concussions. When the game ended, the final score was 52-0, and five preadolescent boys had head injuries, the last hurt on the final play of the game…

Since then, it has emerged as one of the more disturbing episodes in the ever more controversial world of youth football. In the days after the game, the injured boys were determined to have sustained concussions…

All five of them? What are the odds?

Late last week, league officials suspended the coaches for both teams for the rest of the season. The referees who oversaw the game were barred from officiating any more contests in the Central Massachusetts Pop Warner league, and the presidents of both programs were put on probation.

Don’t worry. The lawsuits will soon follow.

But the debate the game has further fueled is not likely to calm any time soon. Head injuries in the National Football League remain the league’s greatest safety concern, and the league’s greatest legal liability. Ivy League universities have ordered limits on contact in practice, to reduce the risk of brain injuries. And Pop Warner, the national organization made up of hundreds of thousands of children, some as young as 5, has adopted its own safety guidelines, based in part on the medical wisdom that the brains of young boys are particularly vulnerable.

Still, as the Massachusetts game suggests, rules are only as effective as the adults charged with enforcing them. Four of the five injured boys have resumed playing football for Tantasqua

Damn them!

Meanwhile, we also have this, from the Associated Press:

Cheerleading needs sports safety rules, docs say

By LINDSEY TANNER | Mon October 22, 2012

CHICAGO (AP) – Cheerleading isn’t just jumping and waving pompoms – it has become as athletic and potentially as dangerous as a sport and should be designated one to improve safety, the nation’s leading group of pediatricians says.

The number of cheerleaders injured each year has climbed dramatically in the last two decades. Common stunts that pose risks include tossing and flipping cheerleaders in the air and creating human pyramids that reach 15 feet high or more.

In a new policy statement released online Monday in the journal Pediatrics, the American Academy of Pediatrics says school sports associations should designate cheerleading as a sport, and make it subject to safety rules and better supervision. That would include on-site athletic trainers, limits on practice time and better qualified coaches, the academy says

Last year, there were almost 37,000 emergency room visits for cheerleading injuries among girls aged 6 to 22, according to data from the Consumer Product Safety Commission. That’s more than four times higher than in 1980, when cheerleading was tamer

Injuries have increased as cheerleading has become more popular. Data suggest there are more than 3 million cheerleaders nationwide aged 6 and older, mostly girls. That includes about 400,000 in high school, according to data cited in the new policy.

While the overall injury rate in high school cheerleading is lower than in other girls sports, including gymnastics, soccer and field hockey, the rate of catastrophic injuries like skull fractures and paralyzing spine injuries is higher, the academy noted

Of course, walking to school is also fraught with danger. Maybe we should put an end to that, as well.

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012. Comments are currently closed.

2 Responses to “Pee Wee Concussions; Cheerleader Safety Rules”

  1. Mithrandir says:

    I speak for the entire NON-government class, and NON-lawyer’s guild when I say:

    I would be for more safety regulations if:
    1. We weren’t already drowning in them.
    2. If we didn’t have a gov’t whose soul job is to control and punish us.
    3. I didn’t think this was just another attempt at making excuses for more lawsuits.

    You can just hear it in court now can’t you?
    “Oh, the school / coach / referees didn’t exactly follow, to the letter, all of the 10,000 regulations and the 5000 suggested regulations, so someone is liable here!”

  2. captainfish says:

    I would suggest putting football pads on the cheerleaders, but as is painfully obvious to the ninnies, those don’t help either.

    What we need to do is just eliminate any sport. Soccer and baseball can also give concussions and cause hearts to stop beating. They can also give black-eyes to players. Even horse-shoes is seriously dangerous. I mean, you are throwing around a several-pound chunk of metal and people’s ankles!!!

    I foresee knitting being the sport of the future.

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