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From the Lethbridge Herald:

Canadian pediatricians are warning that children and teens who take up boxing face a serious risk of face and brain injuries, and should therefore be banned from the sport.

In a recent joint statement ,the Canadian Paediatric Society (CPS) and the American Academy of Pediatrics advised youth should "participate in sports where the prime focus is not deliberate blows to the head."

Some 273 boxers reported injuries between 1990 and 2007, according to the Canadian Hospitals Injury Reporting and Prevention Program, which is maintained by the Public Health Agency of Canada. Among them, nearly 70 per cent were 18 and under.

Data showed that boxing lead to the most hospital admissions among all combat sports; 58 per cent of those sustained facial fractures, while 25 per cent suffered from closed head injuries, such as concussion.

The program collects data from 15 hospitals across the country, including 10 children's hospitals, which could have skewed some of the data, admitted Dr. Robert Moriartey, CPS board representative for Alberta.

Even so, he said the severity of head injury appears to be worse in youth.
"They have a much longer time to recover, and their neuro-cognitive effects of these concussions or head injuries can last much longer," he said adding generally adults recover more quickly from head injuries.

The long-term effects for a child with a head injury, such as a concussion, could include cognitive impediments that could in turn affect schooling and social interactions. Repeat concussions can result in traumatic brain injury causing memory loss and chronic headache

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