Have our Child Athletes gone over the Physical Cliff?

Our present Sports, Recreation and Exercise (SRE) travail, which is the balance between SRE benefits and the multitude of injury risks, is at hand. The solutions are within reach of responsible governmental leaders and citizens who function within the systems that are in crisis, when it is Child Abuse related. Will they have the will to enforce the law?

The theme of this article referenced below [ ] is “How gender, manhood and masculinity shaped the tragic events at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

Our Systems in Crisis indicate that it’s ok to Prevent Child Athlete Abuse Syndrome and the Sandy Hook Elementary School Child Abuse Massacre, as long as you don’t tread on Machohood. So don’t expect remarkable turn-arounds in Child Athlete Abuse Syndrome and tragedys like the Sandy Hook Elementary School Child Abuse Massacre. Most of the following Systems in Crisis were called-out by the Surgeon General of the United States.

[Manhood Crisis At The Heart of The Newtown Tragedy: Part I by Jackson Katz, creator and co-creator of three documentary videos. They are Tough Guise: Violence, Media, and the Crisis in Masculinity, Wrestling with Manhood: Boys, Bullying & Battering with Sut Jhally, and Spin the Bottle: Sex, Lies, and Alcohol, with Jean Kilbourne. These films are widely used as educational tools in the U.S. and around the world. He is also the author of two books, The Macho Paradox: Why Some Men Hurt Women and How All Men Can Help]

The Recognition and Reporting of Child Abuse is a widespread problem. Failed Leadership has worsened the problem in Sports, Recreation and Exercise (SRE). Additionally, important systems in crisis have ignored and/or overlooked Child Athlete Abuse Syndrome. The following systems are part of the crisis for Child Abuse in general [1.] and Child athlete Abuse Syndrome [6.]:

• Doctor, Health Care Personnel and Citizen Reporting
• Medical and Law Schools
• Medical Associations and publications
• Attorney Guidelines and Standards for Child Abuse litigation
• Law enforcement
• Criminal Justice System
• Public Health
• State and Federal Governments
• Child Welfare Systems
• School and Non-School Athletic Associations and Federations
• Deficient Caretaker Language Definition of Child Abuse Prevention and Reauthorization Act 2010 Section 3. Paragraph 2.

The United Kingdom is well ahead of the United States. Review the following: The United Kingdom Athletics Welfare Policy

This page contains a copy of the United Kingdom Athletics (UKA) welfare policy (incorporating Child protection). It is with the kind permission of David Brown CBE, Welfare Officer UKA, that the policy is reprinted here.

Now scan the following article for comparison. “The ‘Glory’ Behind China’s Olympic Success”, Waffelsatnoon, Aug 3, 2012

“Everyone knows SRE accidents happen, while playing by the rules of the game, in safe SRE environments, with proper athlete protection, coaching supervision and conduct. Serious Injuries and Deaths that occur during blameless circumstances are Inherent and Natural to the game that athletes play. They are called Accidental and Not-Preventable. An aggressive clean football tackle that fractures an arm is an Accident and Not Preventable
“Conversely, Preventable, Not Accidental Injuries and Deaths occur at a rate of approximately fifty per-cent.

“Preventable, Not Accidental Injuries and Deaths of SRE Children (<18) Athletes are secondary to severe punishments, injury mismanagements, such as concussion, over-use exercise, physical assaults and participation during severe weather conditions i.e. dangerous heat index, poor air quality and electrical storms to name a few and other physical and psychological maltreatments, endangerments, sexual abuse and negligent supervision.

“Recently I was consulted concerning push-up punishment to an adolescent swimmer that resulted in a Preventable, Not-Accidental torn shoulder labrum and dislocation necessitating surgery. The definition of Child Athlete Abuse Syndrome was the subject of the consultation. [29.]

Child Athletes who participate in organized amateur Sports, Recreation and Exercise (SRE) do not have Equal Rights in the United States that other Children have, even though they are defined identically, as all children, by their Age of Minority, not the SRE in which they participate.

• The 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans (U. S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2008) recommend that children and youth have 60 minutes of physical activity of moderate and vigorous intensity daily in three types of activity—aerobic activities, muscle strengthening activities, and bone-strengthening activities
• In order to reduce the risk of injury, children and youth are advised to increase their physical activity gradually and to engage in a variety of exercise, sport, and recreation activities. A variety of exercise, sport, and recreation activities promote balanced aerobic conditioning, muscle strengthening, and bone strengthening. Joints, muscle groups, and other body parts are used differently, thereby reducing the risk of injury due to repetitive motion or overuse. [1. 2. 3. 4.]
• The trend of childhood obesity and inactivity is increasing the focus on physical activity among children [5.]
• Child Athletes’ diversity is marked by their Innocent, Susceptible, and Vulnerable Age and share a unique vulnerability, susceptibility and need special protection to promote their physical, mental, spiritual, moral, and social development during SRE participation. [6. 7.]
• Recent research has shown that excessive sports practice and pressure associated with performance sport are considered a violation of children’s rights. Some sports are considered among the ‘worst forms of child labour’ due to the dangerous nature of the sport itself. [7.]
• Stereotypically Macho Child and Youth Athletes, who are not “Little Macho Adults,” are Exploited and Abused by Problematic Coaches that some Problematic Parents and Sport Societies support with defective “logic” and motivation. [8. 9.]
• Child Athletes are a Health Disparity population
• “A health disparity is a particular type of difference in health or one of the most important influences on health that could potentially be shaped by policies. It is a difference in which disadvantaged social groups have persistently experienced social disadvantage or discrimination and systematically experience worse health or greater health risks than more advantaged social groups.” [10.]
• Defined in US Public Health Safety Act: “A population is a ‘Health Disparity Population’ if there is a significant disparity in the overall rate of disease incidence, prevalence, morbidity, mortality, or survival rates in the population as compared to the health status of the general population, in addition to the meaning so given, the Director may determine that such term includes populations for which there is a significant disparity in the quality, outcomes, cost, or use of health care services or access to or satisfaction with such services as compared to the general population.” [11.]
• An estimate 50% of Child Athletes Sports Injuries are secondary to Child Athlete Abuses Syndrome
• “About 3.5 million children age 14 and under are treated for sports-related injuries annually, and half may be preventable, Safe Kids USA officials say.” [12.]
• “According to the CDC, more than half of all sports injuries in children are preventable.” [ 13.]
• “According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 30 million children and adolescents are participating in youth sports and nearly 3.5 million children under the age of 14 receive some sort of medical treatment for sports injuries each year. An estimated half of these injuries are preventable ”. [14.]
• Child Athletes during extracurricular school SRE are not equally protected under the law, the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment
• Text of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment: All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws
• Child Athletes must receive “equitable treatment.” This means that all Child Athletes should have comparable benefits even when participating in SRE.
• Dr. Edwin R. Guise of Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit called it “Socially Approved Athletic Child Abuse.” Dr. Guise has reported that “swimmers shoulder” is a condition so severe it requires surgery and is on the increase among teenagers who are team swimmers.
• “Another Bone Specialist” Dr. Richard M. Ball of Plainfield, N.J. condemned the grueling training programs for adolescents as a “Battered Child-Athlete-Syndrome”. Dr. Ball said teenage swimmers were developing serious should tendonitis that might require surgery.
• Dr. Edwin R. Guise and Dr. Richard M. Ball are credited for the terms
“Socially Approved Athletic Child Abuse”
“Battered-Child-Athlete-Syndrome” [20.]
• The Physical and Psychological (Emotional) and Athlete Abuses, at the hands of Coach Charlie Bradshaw and his University of Kentucky Football assistants, that were sustained by the last team recruited by Coach Blanton Collier and his assistants, prompted us to survey our 1961-1962 University of Kentucky freshman team during preparation for our football reunion. The result was “A Longitudinal and Retrospective Study of The Impact of Coaching Behaviors on the 1961-1962 University of Kentucky Football Wildcats”, Kay Collier McLaughlin, Ph.D., Micheal B. Minix Sr. M.D., Twila Minix, R.N., Jim Overman, Scott Brogdon
• This reporter began defining CAAS in 2007 in preparation for our football reunion. Forty-nine years after the report of Battered Child Syndrome, April 29, 2011, Micheal B. Minix, Sr., M.D., presented Child Athlete Abuse Syndrome (CAAS), “A New Disease” at the Athlete Abuse Prevention Summit, Omni Parker House, Boston, MA.
• The Penn State Tragedy enlightened the public about Abnormal Criminal Behaviors of Coaches and leadership university officials who perpetrated and then attempted to cover-up. Former Penn State head football “Coach Joe Paterno seriously faulted” in the Coach Jerry Sandusky Tragedy that found Sandusky guilty on 48 counts of Child Sexual Abuse. The self-imposed investigation of Penn State notes that University President Graham Spanier, Senior Vice President Gary Schultz and Athletic Director Tim Curley altered their decision to report the sexual abuse crimes after a meeting with the head Coach Paterno, who died in January 2012, two months after the story broke. [21.]
• Child Athletes do not receive equal protection from the The Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Reauthorization Act (CAPTA) of 2010, Public Law 111-320
• 1. the term ‘Child’ means a person who has not attained the lesser of—
• A. the age of 18; or
• B. except in the case of sexual abuse, the age specified by the child protection law of the State in which the child resides;
• 2. the term ‘child abuse and neglect’ means, at a minimum, any recent act or failure to act on the part of a parent or caretaker, “INCLUDING COACH TEMPORARY SUBSTITUTE CARETAKERS (TSC) OF SCHOOL AND NON-SCHOOL SPORT, RECREATION AND EXERCISE”, which results in death, serious physical or emotional harm, sexual abuse or exploitation, or an act or failure to act which presents an imminent risk of serious harm;
• The language “INCLUDING COACH SUBSTITUTE CARETAKERS OF SCHOOL AND NON-SCHOOL SPORT, RECREATION AND EXERCISE” is the subject of a recommended amendment to PL 111-320 that makes the Coach’s role as TSC as it is now understood by legal scholars, crystal clear public policy.
• Preventable, Not-Accidental Child and Youth Athlete Injuries and Deaths are secondary to Child Athlete Abuse Syndrome (CAAS). CAAS Recognition Education requires a definition to enable Doctors, Health Care Personnel and everyone to identify “how it looks”, which was the first question I was asked by a Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky staff member. The following definition is established and used by many Child Athlete Safety advocates, researchers and reporters.

Child Athlete Abuse Syndrome is a Short Title for a Clustering of Child (<18) or Youth (15-18) Athlete Morbidity, Mortality and/or Abuse secondary to:

► Physical endangerment, maltreatment and/or abuse
► Psychological (Emotional) endangerment, maltreatment and/or abuse
► Sexual Abuse
► Failed child custodial protection
► Negligent care giving supervision
► Human rights violations
► That were inflicted, caused, created, or allowed to be inflicted, caused, created, directly or indirectly by the Problematic Coach, including the Strength Training, Conditioning and other specialty Coach, Problematic Parent or other Problematic Caretaker Person who has Child and Youth Athlete custodial protection, supervision, care and control during Sports, Recreation and Exercise Participation
► Failure to report the morbidity and mortality to Authorities is Illegal. [1.] [6.]
► In most United States, Children are minors when less than 18 years of age.
► The United Nations define Youth as persons between the ages of 15-24.


• Medicalized: To identify or categorize a condition or behavior as being a disorder requiring medical treatment or intervention [16.]
• CAAS IS LEGITIMATE DIANOSIS WITH ICD-9 CODES. Every classification of Child Abuse in every venue is Medicalized. The “International Classification of Disease, 9th edition, (ICD-9) Clinical Modification is a standardized classification of disease, injuries, and causes of death, by etiology and anatomic localization and codified into a 6-digit number, which allows clinicians, statisticians, politicians, health planners, health insurance and others to speak a common language, both US and internationally”. ICD-9s are also used to bill medical insurance by Doctors.[17.]
• Battered Child Syndrome (BCS) was reported in 1962. It evolved into Child Protection Laws. [18.]
• Child Abuse Prevention, Treatment and Reauthorization Act 2010, Public Law 111-320 was first enacted into Federal Law in 1972 and has been amended several times, most recently 2010. [19.]

The Offender that causes or allows to be caused serious Child Athlete Not-Accidental, Preventable Morbidity and Mortality, has been “let out of the locker room” and newly exposed. The Penn State shameful devastation has begun the descent of “Socially Approved Athletic Child Abuse”. But a great deal remains to be done such as the correction of the definition of Caretaker in the language of CAPTA PL 111-320, followed by education and awareness.

Coaches are in charge of conditioning, boot camp, practice and games. Coaches should be familiar with Child Abuse Laws, the Rules of Law concerning Child and Youth who participate in Sports. They are allowed to Coach utilizing their methods providing they abide by Child Protection Laws.

Protective Custody and Care-Giving Supervision are transferred from the Parent and Guardian to the Teacher for curricular activities and to the Coach during extracurricular school activities. The Parent, Guardian, Teacher and Coach have equal Duty under the Law, when they have custody and control of the Child. They have a Duty to Protect the Child. The premise for this duty is that a Child is compelled to attend school and must be separated from the Parent or Guardian. [23.]

Another important part of this reporter’s background and a contributing factor in the definition of CAAS is my training as a Trainer of Kentucky Doctors about how to Recognize Child Abuse (CA) during Child Abuse Recognition Education (C.A.R.E). I was certified in 2009 to go out to KY Doctors’ offices and teach Doctors and their staff how to recognize CA. That also translated to Sports, Recreation and Exercise (SRE) for me.

C.A.R.E. was sponsored and supported by Prevent Child Abuse KY, Dept. of Community Based Services, U of L Dept Pediatric Forensic Medicine did the instruction and KMA and funded by the KY Cabinet of Health and Family Services .

During training, I asked the C.A.R.E. instructors if Coaches were “Temporary Substitute Caretakers”. The reply in a personal email from the C.A.R.E. director, about 2 months later after her colleague’s’ investigation follows. The Director was also interested in CAAS. She called it “good news” for my Child Athlete Abuse Syndrome endeavor:

“Our agency [DCBS] investigates abuse and neglect allegations involving situations where a person is providing care, has custody or has control of a child. Teachers, camp counselors, bus drivers, babysitters, grandparents, coaches etc fit in to that category if they are left to care for a child and the parent is not present for supervision. We are investigating these type situations in this manner across the state. If [DCBS] staff have questions about whether a person falls into these categories, they can consult with Central Office or their regional attorney.” [24.]

Verbal and signed Permissions to Participate and Waivers in Sports, Recreation and Exercise (SRE) and other activities granted by Parents and Guardians do not permit Criminal, Unlawful behavior such as Physical, Psychological and/or Sexual Abuse, Gross Negligence and Human Rights Disorders. Child Abuse Laws are in effect on every inch of ground during every second of time.

On the Civil Litigation side, a parent or guardian’s agreement to waive a minor child’s rights to sue a provider for harm, shifting the risk of damage awards away from the sponsoring sports organization, will not be enforced, because courts have consistently refused to enforce waivers against Children. Parents and Guardians cannot relinquish a minor Child’s Rights. [25.]

“The use of physical discipline, or corporal punishment, on children has a long and sordid tradition in America’s homes, schools and athletic programs. The recent deaths of middle school, high school, college, semi-professional and professional athletes indicates that the use of excessive exercise and punishment by school officials and Coaches Can Kill.”

“Athletic officials and the media attempt to spin athletic injuries and deaths as unfortunate byproducts of playing the game. “Despite their spin, ‘coaches tweak and torque the athlete to see how far [they] can be pushed.’

“Today athletes are treated as superhuman-heroes who are expected to play even when hurt, sick or fatigued.”

“According to common law standards, public school teachers and Coaches may impose reasonable but not excessive force to discipline a child.

“The use of excessive force or exercise to discipline a child violates that child’s substantive due process rights.” [26.]

The American Academy of Pediatrics SRE Policies for Child Athletes include:
“ • Availability of Qualified Coaches in organized sports can be key factor in providing safety and a positive experience
• Because most youth sports coaches are volunteers with little or no formal training in child development, they cannot be expected to correctly match demands of a sport with a child’s readiness to participate.
• Educational programs are available for Youth Sports Coaches, but most coaches do not participate.
• Coaches may try to teach what often cannot be learned and blame resulting failures on shortcomings of athletes
• Child Athletes are not “Little Adults”
• Pediatricians can further advocate safe sports participation by promoting better education and training of youth sports coaches.
• Pediatricians can work with sports administrators and coaches within their community and share relevant information on child development, injury assessment, first aid, and injury prevention. and take an active role in developing safety programs while ensuring that existing safety measures are observed” [27.]
• Standards for coaching competency are available and certification for youth sports coaches should address these competencies. [28.]

“No Sport is a Kingdom unto its own”; “No one is above the Law.” said former Secretary of State, Condeleezza Rice. [22.]

The Law is designed to work for everyone, including Child Athletes and not cherry-picked for win-at-all-costs, money driven, bottom line SRE systems.

1. Foley, J.T., Beets, M.W., & Cardinal, B.J (In Press). Monitoring children’s physical activity with pedometers: Reactivity revisited. Journal of Exercise Science and Fitness.
2. Tindal, D., & Foley, J.T. (In Press). Assessment modifications for students with disabilities in sport education. Journal of Physical Education, Recreation and Dance.
3. Dosa, N.P., Foley, J.T., Woodall-Ruff, D., Eckrich, M., & Liptak, G.S., (In press). Obesity and physical activity across the lifespan among persons with Spina Bifida. Disability and Rehabilitation.
4. Foley, J.T., & McCubbin, J.A. (2009). An exploratory study of after-school sedentary behavior in elementary school-age children with mental retardation. Journal of Intellectual & Developmental Disability, 34(1), 3-9.
5. The First Lady‟s Let’s Move! campaign- First Lady Michelle Obama to solve the epidemic of childhood obesity within a generation.-information available at
6. Human Rights in Youth Sport: A Critical Review of Children’s Rights in Competitive Sport (Ethics and Sport) 2005 by Paulo David, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
7. Exploitation and Child Protection in Sport, The International Platform on Sport and Development
8. Cary, P., Dotinga, R., & Comarow, A. (2004). Fixing kids’ sports. U.S. News & World Report, 136 (20), 44-53
9. Sporting Violence: The Parents, Coaches, and Child Exploitati by David Mayeda on July 15, 2008 Bleacher Report,
10. Annu Rev Public Health. 2006;27:167-94.,Health disparities and health equity: concepts and measurement., Braveman P.
11. Health Disparities in H.R. 3590 (Merged Senate Bill) “as defined in Section 485E (Sec. 931) Current Law Public Health Safety Act Sec. 1707(d)(3)) Policy
12. Johnson & Johnson and Safe Kids USA’s Coalition,, Founded in 1987 as the National SAFE KIDS Campaign by Children’s National Medical Center with support from Johnson & Johnson, Safe Kids Worldwide is a 501© (3) non-profit organization located in Washington, D.C.
13. American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons,
14. Stop Sports Injuries
15. Child Athlete Abuse Syndrome, “A New Disease”, Athlete Abuse Prevention Summit, Omni Parker House, Boston, MA. April 29, 2011, Micheal B. Minix, Sr., M.D. and
16. Online-Dictionary
17. International Classification of Disease, 9th edition,
18. The Battered-Child Syndrome, C. Henry Kempe, M.D.; Frederic N. Silverman, M.D.; Brandt F. Steele, M.D.; William Droegemueller, M.D. ; Henry K. Silver, M.D., JAMA. 1962;181(1):17-24.
19. Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment and Reauthorization Act 2010, PL 111-320
20. Weekly World News, Jan 20, 1981, Health News
21. By Allie Grasgreen : Inside Higher Ed
22. State of The Nation, Candy Crowly CNN News, Condoleezza Rice interview
23. McLeod v. Grant County School Dist. No. 128,255 P.2d 360,362 (Wash. 1953
24. Personal email from C.A.R.E. Director, Kate Dean, and the KY Dept of Community Based Services (DCBS)
25. Malamud et al, Marquette Sports Law Journal, vol 2, Spring 1992, no. 2]
26. Excessive Exercis as corporal Punishment in Moore v. Willis Independent School District – Has the Fifth Circuit “Totally Isolated” itself in its Postions? Author By Kristina Rico Villanova Sports and Entertainment Law Journal, Villanova University, CASENOTE: 9 Vill. Sports & Ent. L.J. 351. 2002
27. AAP, AMERICAN ACADEMY OF PEDIATRICS Vol. 107 No. 6 June 2001, pp. 1459-1462 : Organized Sports for Children and Preadolescents. POLICY STATEMENT, Committee on Sports Medicine and Fitness and Committee on School Health A statement of reaffirmation for this policy was published on September 1, 2007. This policy is a revision of the policy posted on Sept 1, 1989.
28. National Association for Sport and Physical Education. National Standards for Athletic Coaches: Quality Coaches, Quality Sports. Dubuque, IA: Kendall/Hunt Publishing Co; 1995:1-124
29. Journal of the Kentucky Medical Association, Page 384, September 2012 / vol 110

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