Only half of London parents in favour of children playing sports with opposite sex

Only half of parents in London are in favour of their children playing team sports with the opposite sex and one in four have considered stopping their child playing certain sports due to concerns over injury.

That’s according to a survey by specialist sports insurance provider Insure4Sport, which has studied the attitudes of 2,000 parents towards children’s safety when playing sports.

The most common reasons parents in London gave for not wanting their children to play team sports with the opposite sex were that they ‘didn’t think they’d enjoy it’ and ‘didn’t think they’d be safe’.

The survey also found that two-thirds of parents in the UK are concerned about their children’s safety when playing sports.

The main injuries parents are worried about their children suffering are head injuries (66%), broken bones (47%), concussions (39%) and broken teeth (18%).

Rugby is considered the most unsafe sport, followed closely by horse riding, skateboarding and BMXing. In fact, more than a third of parents (34%) considered their child to be at a high risk of injury when playing rugby.

On the flipside, tennis is considered the safest sport, along with swimming, badminton and basketball.

John Woosey, Managing Director of Insure4Sport, said: “It’s unfortunate that there’s a concern among parents about their children playing certain sports. While no sport can be considered completely risk-free, there are several ways in which the risk of injury can be minimised.

“Risk assessments are one measure we would recommend, as well as having all the right equipment and ensuring thorough warm-ups before and after sessions or matches.

“Luckily, we have a fantastic group of coaches on our books who, by and large, take all the necessary precautions to ensure that their clients are safe as possible.”

Young people aged under 19 account for 47% of attendances at UK hospitals for sport-related injuries, according to a collaborative analysis of A&E data by researchers at Newcastle University and Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

In addition, former footballer Ryan Mason has called for a ban on children heading footballs, after suffering a fractured skull during an aerial challenge in a Premier League match.

Will Roberts, Director of Operations at the Youth Sport Trust, said: “All sports involve some element of risk and it is natural for parents to have a concern about this. In order to ensure young people have the best experience when taking part in organised sport, we advise that, where activities are done through a club and with coaches, parents or guardians check the appropriate credentials, qualifications and licenses are in place.

“Not all sport needs to be formal, and children will benefit from exploring boundaries of risk in play. Parents can play alongside their children to help them with this and to also role model an active and healthy lifestyle.”

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