NICK NEWS with Linda Ellerbee to Air Kids' Sports Safety Special, 4/15
Nick News with Linda Ellerbee explores how kids can get hurt playing sports and what's being done to reverse this trend in the brand-new special, "Sidelined: How Safe Are Kids' Sports?" premiering Tuesday, April 15, at 8:00 p.m. (ET/PT) on Nickelodeon. In the half-hour special, kids from around the country share stories of the injuries they have endured playing the sport they love.
"Kids playing sports today are getting hurt in alarming numbers," says Ellerbee. "More kids get hurt than professional athletes, and according to the Centers for Disease Control, kids account for half of all sports injuries treated in hospital emergency rooms."
"There is a trend for earlier specialization in sport... so in the last ten years we're seeing a dramatic increase in overuse related injuries," says Dr. Michael Bergeron, Executive Director of the National Youth Sports Health and Safety Institute.
12-year-old Masyn, a middle school baseball player from Lancaster, Pa. badly injured his shoulder from throwing. "[The doctor] told me that I had to stop playing baseball for three months and go to physical therapy," he says. "When I heard those words come out of his mouth, I started to cry because I couldn't live without baseball."
17-year-old football star Devin of Huber Heights, Ohio has experienced multiple concussions. "I'm not all the way there mentally yet, focusing is harder, my hands rattle when I write because of my nervous system," he says. "The roughest part of this is knowing that I might not be able to play football again."
When 13-year-old Olivia of Houston, Texas felt pain in her back, she continued cheering and wound up with a severe spinal stress fracture. "I was really driven to keep on going," she says.
The special discusses how kids suffer more concussions in football than any other organized sport. As a result, in 2012 USA Football implemented the "Heads Up Football" program, which focuses on tackling and making contact in a safer way. "With the increased awareness and diagnosis of concussions and other injuries we felt that we needed to regulate our sport a little better," says Mike Lalli, the Head Football Coach at Chantilly High School in Fairfax County, Va. "The key thing is training and education for the kids, the parents, and the coaches."