According to a 2013 pole by C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital adults rated these issues as the top ten child health concerns.

  1. Childhood obesity
  2. Drug abuse
  3. Smoking and tobacco
  4. Bullying
  5. Stress
  6. Alcohol
  7. Child abuse
  8. Teen pregnancy
  9. Internet safety
  10. Depression

Youth Sports can have a direct and significant effect on almost every issue on this list.  From obesity all the way to depression, getting kids involved in sports can have immediate effects.  Besides the obvious reasons like being in better shape and the health benefits, playing sports also helps in other areas such as mood and behavior.  With 1 in 3 kids considered obese, the lack of easy access to youth sports is extremely prevalent.  It is a fun and easy way for them to stay in shape but high costs keep significant amounts away.

Kids involved in after school sports are also less likely to sit idle, tend to perform better in school, and are less likely to have issues with the law.  Statistically, children who do not play sports are three times more likely to get in trouble with the law.  Sports also teach kids valuable lessons in self-discipline and time management, which ultimately help them to perform better in school.  Youth sports may not be the only answer to these problems, but they can be a major step in the right direction.

The Kids Play USA Foundation is hard at work combating these issues.  Through advocacy, fund raising, and awareness programs, KPU won’t stop until all of today’s youth have the equal participation opportunities.