Are School Sports Dangerous?
Kelly Charles, a Dallas mother of three girls, never thought that her eldest daughter, Alexandra, now 17, could be seriously injured as a cheerleader. But then all those handsprings and all that tumbling started taking their toll. First Alexandra dislocated her right shoulder. When she returned to the squad, she dislocated it again. And again. And again. Eventually she required surgery, which permanently ended her cheerleading career. Today she's off to college with an eight-inch scar and three pins in her shoulder.
Welcome to the world of school-sports injuries, which are on the rise thanks to the growing numbers of girls and boys who participate. At last count, 38 million kids age 18 and younger participated in sports, many of which are school sponsored. And every year, 2.6 million youngsters 5 to 24 suffer a sports injury serious enough to miss school, practice, or games, according to the National Center for Health Statistics.