Children and teenagers are at greater risk for brain injury, so they shouldn't box, the American Academy of Pediatrics said in a recent policy statement.
"We recommend young people participate in sports where the prime focus is not deliberate blows to the head," said Claire LeBlanc, a co-author of the policy statement, which was published in the September issue of the journal Pediatrics.
Boxing injuries treated in U.S. emergency rooms average 8,716 per year and have increased significantly since 1990, according to the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System. About 8 percent of these injuries are concussions. Children are more vulnerable than adults to concussion, and it takes them longer to recover, the AAP reported.
Amateur boxers wear protective headgear, but there is no evidence head guards reduce the incidence of concussions, the academy said.
-- Jack Kelly