RECOMMENDED SOLUTIONS FOR CHILD AND YOUTH ATHLETE SPORTS AND RECREATION SAFETY, A PUBLIC HEALTH CRISIS

ATHLETE INJURIES. DEATHS AND SEXUAL ABUSE ARE A GLOBAL CRISIS

THE FOLLOWING PUBLICATION IS ABOUT
• GROUND RULES AND ESSENTIAL PRINCIPLES FOR ATHLETE SAFETY 1ST
• RECOMMENDED SOLUTIONS FOR ATHLETE INJURIES, DEATHS AND SEXUAL ABUSE

I. AMATEUR ATHLETE HUMAN RIGHTS AND THE RIGHT TO SAFELY PLAY AND PARTICIPATE IN SPORTS AND RECREATION ARE RULES OF LAW. VIOLATIONS OF THOSE LAWS SHOULD BE REQUIRED EDUCATION.

“Human rights in the United States are legally protected by the Constitution of the United States and amendments, conferred by treaty, and enacted legislatively through Congress, state legislatures, and plebiscites (state referenda). Federal courts in the United States have jurisdiction over international human rights laws as a federal question, arising under international law, which is part of the law of the United States” [Wikipedia]

Child and Youth Protection was passed into Law by the enactment of the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act 1974. It has been ammended and reauthorized several times; most recently Keeping Child and Families Safe Act of 2003, Public Law 108-36.

THE FUNDAMENTALS OF SPORTS AND RECREATION PLAY AND PARTICIPATION ARE THE PREVENTION OF CHILD AND YOUTH ATHLETE

• HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS
• PHYSICAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL (EMOTIONAL) ENDANGERMENTS, MALTREAMENTS THAT CAUSE SERIOUS INJURIES AND/OR DEATHS
• SEXUAL ABUSE

The future development of Competitive Sports and the Positive effects of Child and Youth Sports and Recreation and positive impact on health disorders such as Childhood Obesity depend on the creation of Child-Centered Sports and Recreation Systems. This is a particular concern to Athlete Safety 1st.

Amateur Athlete Human Rights Disorders are secondary to Amateur Athlete Human Rights Violations (AAHRV). Child Athlete Abuse Syndrome is just one of the categories of AAHRV.

Child (<18) and Youth (15-24) Amateur Athletes are a Vulnerable, Global “Health Disparity Population.” Protection is mandatory from:

• Physical and Psychological (Emotional) Maltreatment and Endangerment
• Sexual Athlete Abuse
• Negligent Care Giving Supervision (Child Athlete Abuse Syndrome)
• Amateur Athlete Human Rights Disorders
• Other forms of Violence.

Children and Youth are to be Protected and properly Supervised while participating in Sports. Children are governed by Child Protection and Supervision State, National and International Laws.

“Human rights are standards that recognize and protect the dignity of all human beings. Human rights govern how individual human beings live in society and with each other, as well as their relationship with governments and the obligations that governments have towards them.”

“Human Rights Law mandates governments to accomplish missions, goals and objectives while preventing others. Individuals also have responsibilities: in using their Human Rights, they must respect the Rights of others. No government, group or individual person has the right to do anything that violates another’s Rights:

• Inherent: we are born with Human Rights
• Inalienable: individuals cannot give them up; other individuals cannot take them away
• Universal: they are held by all people, everywhere – regardless of age, sex, race, religion, nationality, income level or any other status or condition
[1989 Convention on Rights of the Child, UNICEF, United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund]

The Human Rights of Children and Youth have been recognized since the 1989 United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, ratified by 192 countries. Human Rights in Youth Sports by Paulo David published in 2005 is our bible.

A. AMATEUR ATHLETE SPORTS AND RECREATION MORBIDITY AND MORTALILTY ARE SECONDARY TO:

• Inadequate Safety, Health, Care, Welfare
• Failed Child and Youth Custodial Protection and Negligent Coaching Care-Giving Supervision
• Breach of Fiduciary-Athlete Responsibility
• Over Training
• Exploitation
• Human Growth and Development Deprivation
• Physical, Psychological (Emotional) and Sexual Abuse
• Doping and Medical Ethics
• Lack of Awareness and Education
• Child Labor
• Discrimination
• Human Rights Violations
• Poor Accountability of Governments, Criminal Justice Systems, Health and Human Rights Departments, National and International Sports Federations and Associations, Sports Medicine Departments
• Dysfunctional Sports Community: Poor Accountability of School Boards, School Officials, Athletic Directors, Coaches, Attorneys, Doctors, Entire and Parents.
• Drastically Different Environmental Conditions, Heat Waves, Global Warming, Air Pollution
• Obese Sedentary Indoor non-Acclimated Athletes

B. CHILD AND YOUTH AMATEUR ATHLETE AND RECREATION HUMAN RIGHTS:

• Right to non-discrimination 2
• Principles of the Best Interests of the Child 3
• Right to provide appropriate direction and guidance 5
• Right of Development 6
• Right to an identity and nationality 7
• Right not to be separated from their parents 9
• Right to have their views taken into account 12
• Freedom of Expression and Association 13 15
• Protection of privacy 16
• Right to access appropriate information 17
• Protection from Abuse and Neglect and other forms of Violence 19
• Right to Health 24
• Right to Education 28 29
• Right to rest, leisure, recreation and cultural activities 31
• Right to be protected from
1. economic exploitation 32
2. illegal drugs 33
3. sexual exploitation 34
4. abduction, trafficking, and sale 35
5. other forms of exploitation 36
6. Right to benefit from Rehabilitation Care 39
7. Right to Due and Fair Process 40
[Numbers refer to the Treaty Section 1989 United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child]

C. CHILD-CENTRED SPORTS AND RECREATION SYSTEMS HAVE 10 FUNDAMENTL PRINCIPLES:

• Equity, non-discrimination, fairness
• Best interest of the child, children first
• Evolving capacities of the child
• Subject of Rights, exercise of Rights
• Consultation, the child’s opinion, informed participation
• Appropriate direction and guidance
• Mutual respect, support and responsibility
• Highest attainable standard of health
• Transparency, accountability, monitoring
• Excellence
[Human Rights in Youth Sport by Paulo David, Secretary on Rights of the Child, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, United Nation

II. CHILD AND YOUTH SPORTS INJURY STATISTICS ARE VITAL.

Improved Child and Youth Athlete Sports Injuries, Deaths, Morbidity and Mortality Statistics in high school, college and non-school amateur leagues and organizations, are vital.

III. SPORTS PARTICIAPTION HISTORY AND PHYSICAL EXAMINITION MUST BE AN APPROVED HEALTH BENEFIT OF MEDICAL INSURANCE COVERAGE.

The Sports Pre-Participation Physical Examination must be conducted by a Doctor or other competent health care professional. Ordinarily, the Pre-Participation Examination is not an Approved Health Care Benefit of medical insurance plans and coverage.

The Examination must become an Approved Health Care Benefit for Athlete Clients with medical insurance or provided free by school for those who don’t have insurance. Heart Screenings must be included when Doctor ordered. If that occurs, the athlete’s family Doctor, who knows the entire history and condition of the Athlete patient can more accurately evaluate the Athlete for participation and Death from Heart Disease will be prevented.

Currently, many Athletes are examined by Doctors, who have no knowledge of the past medical and faimily histories and have never examined that Athlete prior to Sports Participation. That Doctor might not examine that Athlete again.

IV. DOCTORS MUST BE EDUCATED AND BEGIN REPORTING CHILD ATHLETE PHYSICAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL ATHLETE MALTREATMENTS AND ENDANGERMENTS THAT CAUSE SERIOUS INJURIES AND/OR DEATHS AND ATHLETE SEXUAL ABUSE. THAT IS LAW.

Doctors and Health Care Providers Awareness, Education and Risk Management campaigns are necessary. Doctor awareness and education will lead to improved reporting and the prevention and eradication of these disorders, morbidity and mortality.

DOCTORS ARE MANDATED TO REPORT ALL ABUSE

Physicians and Health Care Personnel risk criminal charges and malpractice claims themselves if they fail to Report Child Athlete and Adult Athlete Abuse. “Mandatory reporting and screening laws are proliferating. [64. Mandatory Reporting Laws and the Emergency Department.

[Forensic Emergency Medicine, Part II Topics in Emergency Medicine. 21(3):63-72,
September 1999. Mallon, William K. MD, FACEP, FAAEM; Kassinove, Andrew JD, MD ]

V. NO PRACTICES AND SPORTS “BOOT CAMPS” SHOULD BE “CLOSED”

NO ONE CAN INTERFERE WITH AN INVESTIGATION OF CHILD AND YOUTH ABUSE IN ANY SETTING, INCLUDING SPORTS, NO VENUE IS CLOSED TO THE INVESTIGATION CONCERNING IMPROPER CHILD AND YOUTH PROTECTION AND SUPERVISION.

Because closed “boot camp” training and conditioning practices are a major venue and setting for Injury, Deaths and Abuse, from the very beginning, Governments must forbid all child and youth Sports closed practices.

No Custodial Protection and Care-Giving Supervision should be conducted behind closed doors. Coaches have Custiodial Protection and Care-Giving Supervidion Duty Most Coaches are Not Aware of the Duty.

Furthermore, what parent in his or her right mind would allow their Child to be taken behind closed doors and potentially mistreated?

VI. CHILD AND YOUTH ATHLETES PLAY, PRACTICE AND CONDITIONING WEATHER LIMITATIONS AND OTHER RESTRICTIONS

A. NEVER PLAY OR PRACTICE OUTSIDE DURING SEVERE WEATHER. RESTRICTIONS ARE:
• Thunder, Lightning and Electrical Storms
• Heat Index greater than 95
• Air Quality Index 100 and greater

B. OVERUSE INJURIES LIMITATIONS

“There appear to be increasing numbers of children who specialize in a sport at an early age. They train year-round for a sport, and/or compete on an “elite” level. Specialization is the reason for overtraining.

“To be competitive at a high level requires training regimens for children that could be considered extreme even for adults.

“Adverse consequences from intense training and competition have been reported in the lay and medical literature.

“It is important to make efforts to assist young athletes in avoiding potential risks from early excessive training and competition. The following guidelines are suggested keeping in mind

• 1. Import to assure safe and healthy sports play for children
• 2. Must provide practical and realistic guidelines
• 3) Increased guideline research

[1. Committee on Sports Medicine and Fitness, 1999–2000]
[2. Ryan J. Little Girls in Pretty Boxes: The Making and Breaking of Elite Gymnasts and Figure Skaters. New York, NY: Warner Books; 1996]
[3. Tofler IR, Stryer BK, Micheli LJ, Herman LR. Physical and emotional problems of elite female gymnasts. N Engl J Med. 1996;25:335:281–283]

Overuse injuries can be caused and aggravated by the following. Limit and/or Omit:

• Overuse and Overtraining: because there are growth spurts, an imbalance between strength and flexibility
• Excessive activity (for example, increased intensity, duration, or Frequency of playing and/or training)
• Playing the same sport year-round or multiple sports during the same season
• Inadequate warm-up
• Improper technique (for example, overextending on a pitch)
• Bad and Faulty Equipment (for example; bad fitting helmet)
• Re-injury can be avoided by allowing an injury to completely heal.
• Once the Doctor has approved a return to the sport, make sure that your child properly warms up and cools down before and after exercise

The US Department of Health and Human Services Recommend Key Physical Activity Guidelines for Children and Adolescents during Sports and Recreation. Implement the following:

• Children and adolescents should do 60 minutes (1 hour) or more of physical activity daily.
• Aerobic: Most of the 60 or more minutes a day should be either moderate- or vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity, and should include vigorous-intensity physical activity at least 3 days a week.
• Muscle-strengthening: As part of their 60 or more minutes of daily physical activity, children and adolescents should include muscle-strengthening physical activity on at least 3 days of the week.
• Bone-strengthening: As part of their 60 or more minutes of daily physical activity, children and adolescents should include bone-strengthening physical activity on at least 3 days of the week.
• Children and Adolescents should participate in physical activities that are appropriate for their age

VII. BALANCED DIET, NUTRITION AND INTAKE

Centers for Disease Control [CDC]: Basic Food Groups required for a balanced Diet:
Grains
Fruits
Vegetables
Milk Products
Lean Meat, Beef, Poultry, Fish
Nuts, Seeds, Beans

Committee on Sports Medicine and Fitness, 1999–2000, Am Academy of Pediatrics

“Proper nutrition is critical for both good health and optimal sports performance. For child athletes, an adequate diet is critical because nutritional needs are increased by both training and the growth process. Young athletes and their parents are frequently unaware of the appropriate components of a training diet. The following 4 areas are of particular concern.

Total Caloric Intake

Athletic training creates a need for increased caloric intake, and requirements relative to body size are higher in growing children and adolescents than at any other time in life. In child athletes, the energy intake must be increased beyond the needs of training to maintain adequate growth. Children who engage in sports in which slenderness is considered important for optimizing performance (ie, gymnastics, ballet dancing) may be at risk for compromising their growth. A risk for pathologic eating behaviors also may be increased in children participating in sports where leanness is rewarded.

Balanced Diet

Balance, moderation, and a variety of food choices should be promoted. The Food Guide Pyramid can be used to plan a diet that is balanced and provides sufficient nutrients and calories for both growth and training needs. Athletes who focus on particular dietary constituents (such as carbohydrates) at the expense of a well-rounded diet may potentially compromise their performance as well as their health.

Iron

The body’s requirement for iron is greater during the growing years than at any other time in life. Adequate iron stores are important to the athlete to provide adequate oxygen transport (hemoglobin), muscle aerobic metabolism (Krebs’ cycle enzymes), and cognitive function. However, athletes often avoid eating red meat and other iron-containing foods. Moreover, sports training itself may increase body iron losses.

Calcium

Inadequate calcium intake is common in athletes, presumably because of their concern about the fat content in dairy foods. Normal bone growth, and possibly, prevention and healing of stress fractures, are contingent on sufficient dietary calcium.”

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