Teens and boxing are a bad combination, doctors say.
The risk of brain and other injuries during boxing makes the sport too risky, according to a new policy statement by U.S. and Canadian pediatrician groups.
The statement urges doctors to ''vigorously oppose boxing for any child or adolescent.''
"Children and adolescents should not be participating in boxing because of the risk of head and facial injuries," says statement co-author Laura Purcell, MD. Purcell is a pediatric sports medicine doctor for the Canadian Paediatric Society.
Children's brains are more vulnerable to concussion, the doctors say. Recovery takes longer in kids. There may also be long-term consequences. "We don't know what the long-term effects are, particularly with amateur boxing," Purcell tells WebMD.
The statement from the Canadian Paediatric Society and the American Academy of Pediatrics is published in Pediatrics. It updates a statement from 1997 issued by the U.S. doctors. This is the first time the Canadian group has addressed boxing, Purcell says.