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Study: More than 80% of kids downplay, hide sports injuries

A new study conducted by the Auckland University of Technology Sports Performance Research Institute in New Zealand found that more than 80 percent of kids downplay or hide injuries suffered while playing sports.

Researchers surveyed 262 boys and girls in football, basketball and netball. When asked why they would hide their injuries, athletes cited lack of knowledge, a desire to win, and a fear of letting down their teammates. Lower limb sprains and strains were the most common injuries, according to an article from the New Zealand Herald.

From the article:

Players and coaches (50 to 60 percent) reported they had observed parents, coaches and other players putting pressure on players to continue playing when injured and this was more common with relatively older players.

Lead author, AUT’s head of sport and exercise science Dr. Chris Whatman, said the study reflects similar trends overseas and is in keeping with a 2011 New Zealand study of all community football in all age groups that reported that 61 percent of players continued to play when injured.

“Of most concern is the long term consequences of injury which can negatively impact on long term engagement in sport and quality of life due to the increased risk of chronic conditions. A major risk factor for an injury in sport is a previous injury so primary prevention in youth sport is crucial,” he said.

The findings are a good reminder of why coaches should keep a keen eye on athletes during competition and encourage players to be open about their ailments. If an athlete plays when they shouldn’t, and ultimately suffers greater injury, it could not only be detrimental to their athletic futures but also have legal ramifications for the school.

Click here to read more from the New Zealand Herald.


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