Many kids love to flip around all day. They like to do handstands, cartwheels, back handsprings and even back flips. Kids do gymnastics anywhere! Even though many kids do gymnastics, it might not be safe!  According to www.stopsportsinjuries.org, over 86,000 gymnasts get injured every year. The most common injuries are superior labrum anterior and posterior (SLAP), lesions in the shoulder, elbow dislocation, wrist sprains, anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury, Achilles tendon Injury and lower back injuries. Some of these injuries could leave gymnasts in pain and out of activities for days, weeks or months.

Photo from: http://abcnews.go.com/WNT/video/london-2012-gymnastics-gabby-douglas-slips-beam-16952737

In this photo Gabby Douglas, an Olympic gymnast, is falling off the beam in a terrifying way. Even though Gabby Douglas might have not gotten hurt so bad, the memory of falling off the beam is still terrifying.

Many kids are inspired by Olympic gymnasts. Even though the gymnasts make it look easy, it takes years to learn to do what they can do. Many kids don’t understand how hard the sport is. Let’s say a girl around 12 years old wants to do a back handspring- the Olympic gymnasts make it look easy. The young girl jumps back and hopes to do a back handspring, but ends up hitting her head, hard on the floor! Many gymnastics injuries affect the back, a part of the body that helps you to walk, sit up, and do most other things. Imagine failing to do a trick correctly and being in pain for weeks or even your whole life because of it.

There are ways to solve the problem. Instead of teaching yourself and having the risk of injuring yourself, ask your parents or guardian to sign you up for a gymnastics class. In class, you will learn how to do tricks properly and safely.

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