Lifestyle & Belief

Teens: want to avoid sports injuries? Get plenty of shut-eye


A new study found that playing sports for children with just one kidney is safe.


Phil Walter

Want to avoid horrible, career-ending sports injuries? If you're an adolescent, prioritizing sleep over nocturnal Facebook-and-trash TV time may be your best bet, new research presented at the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) National Conference and Exhibition in New Orleans concluded.

Research conducted at the Harvard-Westlake school in Los Angeles on 7th to 12th graders concluded that students who got over eight hours of sleep a night reported 68 percent less sports injuries than their sleepier compatriots.

The researchers also found that kids chances of getting injured increased as they moved up in grade, perhaps increasing their cumulative risk of injury—and of course, older athletes tend to be larger and more competitive.

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The American Academy of Pediatrics also suggested today that cheerleading be classified as a sport, as injuries in the increasingly competitive high school pursuit are on the rise—to the tune of around 37,000 emergency room visits each year, according to AP.

In a final bit of interesting news in adolescent sport out of the 2012 American Academy of Pediatrics Conference, researchers found that high school football players reported that they weren't concerned about suffering concussion injuries on the field.

Only 10 percent of the players said they had been formally diagnosed with a concussion, but 32 percent said they had had concussion like symptoms but failed to report them, likely out of fear they would be prevented from playing.