Blows to the head and face while boxing can be risky for children, warn pediatricians, cautioning against the most serious risk of boxing, brain injury.
The recent statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Canadian Paediatric Society says, "In boxing, children and youth are encouraged and rewarded for hitting the head. We're saying, don't put kids in a sport where hitting the head is condoned and encouraged."
Statistics show that close to 18,000 people below 19 engage in this contact sport in the United States.
Despite the perceived advantages of boxing such as vigorous physical activity, improved confidence, concentration, and even self-defence, the risks of boxing far outweigh the advantages. It must be remembered that young brains are more susceptible to injury. Further, recovery from concussion in children can take much longer than adults.