1. Parenting

Gymnastics Study — It's a Dangerous Sport

By April 4, 2008

I suppose this comes as no surprise to those of us who have watched boys and girls flip, spin, jump and swing from various apparatus, but now we have a study to confirm it. Kids get injured doing gymnastics.

The study, conducted by the Center for Injury Research and Policy (CIRP) at The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, found that "gymnastics has the same clinical incidence of catastrophic injuries as ice hockey." An interesting comparison. It further concludes that "Gymnastics has one of the highest injury rates of all girls' sports."

I've seen several injuries at my daughter's gym in the year she's been on the team -- a couple of broken ankles, an injured elbow and last night another girl was injured practicing a flip off the beam. I don't blame the coaches -- they're great and they are very careful with the kids. Simply said, gymnastics is a dangerous sport.

If your son or daughter wants to participate in gymnastics, especially at a competitive level, chances are you'll deal with an injury at some point or another. Hopefully nothing too serious, but who likes to see kids hurt?

You can help minimize the risk by checking out the gym at which your child will participate. Watch practices and make sure the children are watched closely and properly supervised. Be sure the equipment is in good condition and they have plenty of appropriate. Check for certifications, such as the Safety / Risk Management Certification offered by USA Gymnastics.

There will be injuries in gymnastics. It's the nature of the sport. But with good coaching and proper safety precautions, the risk can be minimized and kids can have a great experience, whether on a recreational or competitive level. Gymnastics is a lot of fun -- kids love to tumble and flip -- and is great for building fitness and strength.

July 11, 2008 at 3:34 pm
(1) gymmom says:

I agree about the injuries. My daughter suffered 2 broken injuries last year. First was a fractured knee cap at a meet in which she wore a cast for 8 weeks. This meant that she ended her competitive season early and the later she fell off beam and somehow broke 3 toes on the top of her foot at her home gym, landing on a mat, cast for 4 weeks. Once she finally healed, she was back learning her skills from where she ended and finished her level 6 season. I did give her her “Broken Bone” award to help cheer her up. You never can tell what happens from one day to the next. Gotta be very careful.

Leave a Comment

Line and paragraph breaks are automatic. Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title="">, <b>, <i>, <strike>

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.