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Martial Arts & Your Kid: Risk vs. Benefit

From the Show: Healthy Children
Summary: Should you enroll your child in martial arts classes?
Air Date: 3/28/17
Duration: 16:32
Host: Melanie Cole, MS
Guest Bio: Chris Koutures, MD & Rebecca Demorest, MD
Dr. Chris KouturesDr. Cris Koutures grew up in Irvine, CA, and attended Irvine High School before earning a B.S. in Kinesiology at UCLA. He went on to obtain his medical degree from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and spent three additional years in Madison for his pediatric residency. After returning to California in 1997, Dr. Koutures completed a one-year sports medicine fellowship with UC San Diego.

In 2008, Dr. Koutures fulfilled a lifetime dream by serving as the Medical Team Physician for USA Volleyball and Table Tennis in the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics. He is currently the team physician for the U.S. Men’s and Women’s National Volleyball Teams, Cal State Fullerton Intercollegiate Athletics, Chapman University Dance Department, and Orange Lutheran Athletics.

Dr. Koutures is currently a mentor for pediatric residents and medical and athletic training students, and speaks at local, regional and national conferences on sports medicine topics.

He recently completed a six-year elected term as a member of the Executive Committee for the American Academy of Pediatrics Council on Sports Medicine and Fitness.

Dr. Koutures has also authored over 25 published articles, and served as co-editor for the textbook Pediatric Sports Medicine: Essentials for Office Evaluation published by SLACK Incorporated in 2013. 

DrDemorest photoDr. Rebecca A. Demorest is a pediatric and young adult sports medicine specialist at Webster Orthopedics outside of San Francisco, CA. She completed her undergraduate training, cum laude, at The University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, PA, and medical school, where she was AOA, at The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. She trained in pediatrics at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and in sports medicine at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  

She was previously Medical Director of Sports Medicine at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, DC, and at Children’s Hospital Oakland in Oakland, CA, and has practiced at the Women’s Sports Medicine Center at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City.

She is a prior executive committee member of the AAP Council on Sports Medicine and Fitness and served as their education coordinator. She sits on the Sports Medicine Board for the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) for high school sports. She is a former high school and collegiate rower and is currently a team physician for the Oakland Strokes Rowing Club and the U.S. Rowing team. She lives in the Bay area with her husband and two young sons.
Martial Arts & Your Kid: Risk vs. Benefit
Martial arts teach body control and discipline. Studio classes often have kids teaching other kids. Advancing belts encourage achievement and moving to the next level.

Injury risk doesn’t vary by gender. There is less chance for injury in the martial arts that don’t involve contact.

Kicking is cool. Kids need to learn safety, avoiding kicks to the head. Proper form is important for physical benefit and sparring security. Protective equipment does not mean invulnerability to injury.

Before enrolling your child, be sure the studio trains children. Ask about the rate of progression. Blows to the head should be discouraged in the technique. Talk to other parents. See if the older kids help instruct the younger kids because they may be protective of the young ones.

Most importantly, your child needs to be happy and experience benefit from the form of martial arts you select.

Listen as Dr. Chris Koutures and Dr. Rebecca Demorest join Melanie Cole, MS, to share what you need to know about enrolling your child in martial arts.

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