Is boxing a healthy activity for kids
24 April, 2018
In recent years, boxing has seen a lot of controversies. Apparently, there are many parents interested in convincing their children to work out some way or the other, and they end up installing punching bag for children in their basements.
While it is true that kids nowadays do not exercise nearly as much as they should, installing a kicking bag and forcing children to use it might not be the right way of going about things. In fact, some sources suggest that it might trigger some unpleasant behaviors and might accidentally make the young one believe that it’s okay to punch people, too.
Let’s look at why boxing might or might not be healthy for children.
Are there any benefits?
We might start with the positive aspects before anything else, and we’ll leave the risks at the end of the article. Apparently, boxing can improve a child’s ability to focus. It can also contribute to goal assessment and management to such an extent that the kid might become quite ambitious.
On top of that, boxing teaches self-defense, as well as respect. If you spar with your kid, you will be the one responsible for offering the guidelines that are necessary for the child not to end up being hurt. You’ll tell and show them how they can strike an opponent so that it leaves them with enough time to make a getaway and get to a safe place.
Besides, it’s worth noting that boxing burns a lot of calories. Depending on the time span of a boxing session, a participant can burn as many as 1,500 calories. And in the end, one of the major benefits of this sport is that it teaches kids how to be confident. Of course, they don’t have to end up being overly confident so that they turn into bullies -- but they might be able to have better self-esteem.
What the about the risks?
There seem to be legitimate arguments for both of the sides, which means that some say that boxing should be encouraged while others are far more wary of it.
One of the significant opponents of youth boxing is the American Academy of Pediatrics, according to which the risk of head injuries is far too high, so the sport is far more dangerous compared to others. However, this statement makes a case only in the event that the kid boxes with another kid or with a trainer. If he or she uses a punching bag and always pays attention, the risks are minimal.
Back in 2013, the American Academy of Neurology released a medical paper detailing the effects of youth boxing on long-term functional and structural changes in the brain. Based on the association’s findings, it seems that some areas of the brain experience reduced connectivity to others upon suffering from injuries. Concussions are the most common injuries in amateur and young boxers, and they account for 6.5 to 50% of the entire number of injuries.
The American Academy of Pediatrics agrees that concussions can be particularly dangerous for kids and teenagers as their brains are more vulnerable compared to those of adults.