Pediatrics group: Martial arts is too risky for young children
The American Academy of Pediatrics has released a clinical report showing a steady increase of martial arts-related injuries in recent years, such as concussions, suffocation, spine damage and other head and neck injuries.
While many young children may seem physically and emotionally ready, medical experts say their bodies just aren't ready for such contact.
"We see 5- and 6-year-olds coming in with a foot fracture...They were kicking a block or a heavy bag and their bones are soft," says Dr. John Zaso.
Master David Vargas, of Lee Taekwondo Martial Arts School, says he makes sure kids are at the right age "to take that kind of contact" while sparring or using any kind of technique. He says it all starts with discipline, control and respect.
The American Academy of Pediatrics report also recommends eliminating a taekwondo rule that awards extra points during tournaments for kicks to the head, citing the increased risk of concussion.