COMPETITIVE athletics for children is an important subject; it is also a controversial one. It is generally agreed that athletic programs for children of all ages are a necessary part of their education and recreation. There are differences of opinion as to the time in a child's life at which games requiring considerable co-ordination should be introduced and the extent to which such games should be organized on a competitive basis. Because of this, educators, community leaders in recreation, and particularly parents, often turn to physicians, especially pediatricians, for guidance and direction when they consider the development of athletic programs. To aid physicians in this advisory role, the Committee on School Health of the American Academy of Pediatrics has summarized its study of the subject.
A considerable fund of information as to extent of organized competitive athletic programs among children and as to the effects these programs has been accumulated from the experience and investigation of recognized leaders in the fields of education and recreation, who have collaborated with interested and informed physicians. Those concerned with sports programs for children should give careful consideration to the opinions repeatedly expressed by these groups. Many of these opinions are contained in the appended reference list. The American Academy of Pediatrics definitely encourages and promotes continuing research to establish sound policies.
The Committee on School Health has considered the subject under the following headings:
We are concerned in this statement with the question of competitive athletics for children 12 years of age and under.
- Copyright © 1956 by the American Academy of Pediatrics