SPORTS’ ADVERSE CHILDHOOD EXPERIENCES ARE TOO HIGH

Sports, recreation and exercise (SRE) adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are too high. A physician, I have also been trained and certified, during my retirement, to teach physicians and their office staff about Child Abuse Recognition (Education, CARE), but my interest, expertise and past experiences have directed my attention and advocacy to Sports, Recreation and Exercise (SRE).

The statistics for domestic violence and child abuse morbidity and mortality are appallingly enormous, but Child Athlete Maltreatment, Endangerment, Physical, Psychological and Sexual Abuses also are a massive magnitude. The football uniform should aid in the protection of children against accidental football participation injuries, not preventable injuries inflicted or caused or allowed-to-be inflicted or caused by the Coach.

The popularity of Sports, Recreation and Exercise (SRE) is growing by leaps and bounds. The number of Children (age <18) and Youth (15-24 U.N. definition) participating in SRE increases dramatically each year, which increases the potential for Child Athlete Abuse Syndrome, “a new disease”.

Of course, the numbers for both domestic and SRE categories underrepresent the numbers actually abused. It is estimated that 41 million+ American Children are involved in children’s SRE, a number rising significantly, according to the National Alliance for Youth Sport, (NAYS)

“69% of girls and 75 % of boys in the United States participate in organized and team sports, (2008). From 2006 to 2007, approximately 7,342,910 boys and girls participated in high school sports, alone. That is not counting all other school and non-school ages participating in SRE.

In an ideal, non-corrupt sports world the practice of a regular physical activity induces benefits for both physical and psychological health. But currently, the sports world for Child and Youth Athletes is crammed-full of corruption often hidden from view. “Win-At-All-Costs” is the culprit.

Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act 2010 Public Law 111-320 is directed to 50 States. Government is the first in the line of responsibility for Child Safety and should Teach Child Protection Law to keep Children Safe and Coaches and other SRE authorities out of legal difficulties. Coaches are extremely uninformed and vulnerable and are left hanging out to dry by themselves by their superiors as has happened in some legal cases. While some officials have civil immunity, no one is legally immune. “No Sport is a Kingdom unto its own”. “No one is above the Law,” in any venue, including SRE, stated Condeleezza Rice, former U.S. Secretary of State.

Sexual and physical abuse have been reported in all levels and types of Child and Youth SRE. Associations between abuse victimization and SRE injury have not been fully investigated and sufficiently statistically recorded. All abuses and deaths and lifetimes of morbidity and PTSD form both male and female SRE physical, psychological and sexual abuse have been reported. The perpetrators of sexual abuse in SRE are both men and women extending from corrupt Coaches to administrators and others in the SRE organizations.

Physical and Sexual abuse victimizations are associated with higher injury prevalence among female athletes. Most are school and non-school Coaches. The Predatory Educators and Coaches age ranges from 21 to 75.

In all SRE, even among Children and Youth, there is widespread illegal use of alcohol, cannabis, cocaine and performance-enhancing drugs, encouraged and provided by Coaches and others. The reasons given for athletes influenced or choosing to use performance-enhancing drugs is to bulk up, make themselves gain weight, get more oxygen to their muscles, reduce tiredness, stay alert and maintain aggressiveness.

As a result of the epidemic of preventable, not accidental injuries caused or created by SRE Coaches, brought to the forefront by advocates, Y07.53 is the new 2015 ICD-10 diagnostic code for the Coach Perpetrator of Athlete Abuse, which emphasizes the magnitude of these epidemic SRE conditions. 2015 ICD-10-CM Diagnosis Code Y07.53 is applicable to the Coach, as well as teacher and supervisor perpetrator of maltreatment, endangerment, neglect and abuse incidents.

Esta Soler, CEO of Futures Without Violence, and others like her are applauded-for and encouraged-to continue their advocacies. However, I sincerely urge everyone to additionally join in the struggle and help address Child and Youth SRE endangerment, maltreatment, trauma and abuse and adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) anticipating a decrease in morbidity and mortality. But like Domestic Abuse, this will require public, governmental, and SRE community support in order to limit the impact of Child and Youth Athlete Adverse Experiences (SREACE).

The duty for Child and Youth Protection is paramount in all venues on every inch of earth during every second of time. [ACES To High, Esta Soler Elevates Child Trauma to National Policy Stage, by The Chronicle of Social Change, Dec 8, 2015]

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