Young athletes often hide injuries: study

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Washington – Ninety percent of adolescent athletes claim they have been injured while competing in a sport, and almost half of those athletes reported they have hidden or downplayed an injury to stay in the game, according to a report from Safe Kids Worldwide.

The report, Changing the Culture of Youth Sports, includes information from surveys of 1,000 athletes in 7th through 10th grade, 1,005 youth coaches and 1,000 parents. More than 1 out of 4 athletes said they thought it was normal to play rough to “send a message” during a game, while more than half of coaches reported having felt pressure from a parent or player to put an injured athlete back into a game.

In an interview with Membership News Alert, Safe Kids Worldwide President and CEO Kate Carr said it is important to discuss safety issues before the start of every new sports season. She cited one survey that found 94 percent of parents thought youth coaches were well-informed about injury prevention, while 50 percent of coaches said they wanted to know more about the topic.

“There’s a disconnect between what coaches feel they need to be effective and what parents think they have,” Carr said.