There is no doubt that when kids participate in team sports that they are learning important life skills – skills that will benefit them throughout adulthood. But these sports are not without their risks. Recently, our research department came across an interesting article that is related to a lot of others we found on the same topic. It outlined the five most dangerous sports for your kids. We thought we would pass this information along to you so that you can tip the safety factor for your children in their favor.

1.      Football. This shouldn’t be considered a shocker. We have written in past posts just how dangerous this sport can be. Common injuries are concussions, knee and ankle injuries. Proper headgear and mouth guards can go a long way in helping to curtail a traumatic brain injury. Why a quality mouth guard? It can help to prevent a shot to the jaw reverberating to the brain.

2.      Cheerleading. We know, it is sacred. We need cheerleaders both on the field/court and in life. We love their positive outlook even when things look bleak during competition. But over the years Cheerleading has become more dangerous because of the desire to perform more high risk stunts. How can it be made safer? People must realize that cheerleaders are athletes and not simply an afterthought. They need proper training and safety equipment. They need to follow the rules which are there for a reason – to ensure their safety.

3.      Soccer. Another one that made the list that should come as no surprise. Soccer players are prone to concussions, torn ACL’s and broken limbs (especially legs). How do we keep our kids from serious injury?  Again, proper safety equipment, training and the avoidance of risky behavior on the field.

4.      Cross Country. This one was a surprise because we were thinking in terms of head injuries, etc. Here’s the rub on cross country. There are a lot of heart related injuries, heat stroke and limb injury due to over use. Before taxing the heart in this regard you should ensure that your child has a healthy heart. Also help them resist overtraining. More isn’t always better.

5.      Field Hockey. The hockey enthusiasts won’t be happy with this one. Due to the fact that players are bent over trying to hit a ball with a stick, it’s no surprise that the majority of injuries are to the head and eyes. To hedge against injury proper safety equipment is a must including mouth and eye gear. It is imperative that players also learn proper technique.

This post isn’t meant to scare you. As a matter of fact, it is meant to allow your children to maximize the learning experience in team sports while at the same time minimizing their possibility of a life altering injury.

What are your thoughts? Any kid’s sports that should have made the list that didn’t? Any more safety advice? Leave your comments below.