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The age at which body checking is introduced in minor league hockey varies across Canada There are concerns that the introduction of body checking and the associated increased injury risk to young children is leading to severe injuries that can affect their development indefinitely Despite the risk of injury many people advocate for checking in hockey The Canadian Hockey Association suggests that introducing body checking in hockey at a younger age can develop skills for players and teach kids how to protect themselves Canadian Hockey Association 2002 The CHA 2002 suggests that checking is a necessary skill in the game of hockey that helps players regain control of the puck increases their scoring opportunities and enhances their enjoyment of the game Body checking at a younger age teaches kids how to better protect themselves against checking by players at all levels of physical development As suggested by Dr Macpherson 2006 a co-principal investigator for the Canadian Institute of Health Research Child and Youth Injury Prevention team children can reach puberty at different ages If kids have the skills to protect against body checking at an earlier age they would be more prepared to sustain physical contact from players at all stages of developmentThere is a distinction between the number of injuries resulting from intentional versus unintentional contact In fact Dr Darling of the University of Buffalo found that 66 of injuries result from unintentional contact whereas body checking causes only 34 of injuries 2010 Underlined is the fact that teaching kids to anticipate contact can alleviate the injury risk associated from both unintentional and intentional contactDespite the benefits of learning to body check at a younger age the problem of serious injuries such as concussions remains Although body checking accounts for only 34 of injuries in hockey it represents the cause of a majority of all serious injuries including concussions Darling et al 2010In many cases complex concussions lead to serious headaches nausea fatigue and
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