The American Academy of Pediatricians Urges Adolescents and Children to give up Boxing

In a statement issued by the American Academy of Pediatricians (AAP), the group has urged its members to oppose adolescents and children from taking up boxing as a sport. The group says that boxing can result in serious brain and facial injuries. The statement has been applauded by many other medical associations although it has been strongly opposed by the boxing community.

According to Dr. Hans Forstl at the Technische Universitat Munchen in Munich, boxing is a sport where one deliberately tries to hurt his opponent. Beta amyloid, a compound associated with Alzheimer’s disease is produced in increased quantities in the brains of boxers immediately following a bout. As per the statistics provided by the AAP, boxers often land up with a brain injury resulting in chronic traumatic encephalopathy and their brain show severe changes over a course of time. The prevalence of injury from combat sports requiring admission to a hospital was highest for boxing (4.8%), as compared to other sports like judo, karate and wrestling in the period from 1990 to 2007. More than 70% of the injuries sustained by amateur and professional boxers were to the head. Of these, concussions account for 30% followed by wounds/lacerations/cuts (29%) and fractures (19%). Injuries are common to eyebrow and nose.

Boxers often land up with subdural hematomas. Amateur boxers run a risk of structural brain injuries, cognitive abnormalities, and neurologic de?cits. New MRI techniques have revealed micro-hemorrhages in the brains of the boxers. Keeping in mind, the increased risk of facial and brain injuries sustained by boxers, the AAP and the Canadian Pediatric Society has recommended that pediatricians should oppose boxing for children and adolescents. It has recommended that parents should be educated regarding the medical risks associated with the sport and the children should be encouraged to take up some other sport. It has also recommended proper medical coverage of the participants and sporting events involving boxing.

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Date: 
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
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