Extreme Sports: Are they more dangerous?

February 6, 2013 10:15:57 AM PST
Some people are just drawn to adrenaline. Skateboarding, snowboarding, and martial arts are some of the most popular extreme sports around, but does extreme mean extremely dangerous?

Arm bars and chokes are just part of Judo, the most practiced martial art in the world. Those dedicated to it can do some serious damage to their opponents or themselves.

"I've had a couple concussions, a couple hyper extended elbows," Judo athlete Alexa Liddie said.

From broken limbs, to concussions, to being choked out:

"You wake up and you don't know where you are, your head's hurting," said Kyle Vashkulat, 2012 Judo Olympian.

A George Washington University Study found martial arts have a rate of one injury for every 48 practice hours, closely followed by rugby. The research, also found women in martial arts experience twice as many injuries as men.

So, make sure you have a well-trained instructor like U.S. Olympic Judo coach Jimmy Pedro.

"The key to injury prevention is never getting out of shape," Pedro said.

Still looking for something safer?

Tennis has a rate of one injury every 1,400 hours.

In 2011, more than 82,000 kids, age 19 and under, went to emergency rooms for skateboarding injuries, and more than 38,000 went for snowboarding and skiing injuries.

While these activities may seem more extreme than riding a bike, a whopping 288,000 went to the ER for bike related injuries.

The bottom line: there are risks in just about every sport you or your kids enjoy. So, get the right safety gear, and remember:

"There's nothing worth your health," Judo Olympian Eddie Liddie said.

The American Association of Pediatrics reports 60 percent of skateboarding injuries involve children under 15, most of them are boys. The group finds a higher center of gravity, less development, and poor balance make kids more likely to get hurt on a skateboard. It recommends children under age 5 never ride one.