Adrenaline Rush! Are extreme sports extremely dangerous?

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," says Alexa Liddie a Judo athlete.

From broken, limbs to concussions, to being choked out are all things that judo athletes experience.

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

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. He says, "The key to injury prevention is never getting out of shape."

Still looking for something safer? Tennis has a rate of one injury every 1,400 hours.

In 2011, more than 82,000 kids, 19 and under, went to emergency rooms for skateboarding injuries, and more than 38,000 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," says Liddle.

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 five never ride one.

We would like to mention, Extreme Snowmobiler Caleb Moore died a week ago of injuries sustained during an accident at the X Games. ESPN is now reviewing its safety policies for the event.

Adrenaline Rush! Are extreme sports extremely dangerous?

REPORT #1966

WHAT IS ADRENALINE?: Adrenaline or epinephrine is a stress hormone produced within the adrenal gland that quickens the heart beat, strengthens the force of the heart's contraction, and opens up the bronchioles in the lungs, among other effects. The secretion of adrenaline is part of the human 'fight or flight' response to fear, panic, or perceived threat. (SOURCE:
FIGHT OR FLIGHT: The "fight or flight" response occurs when a person is subject to a threat. This causes a signaling process to occur, which causes the body to react to the potential danger. The purpose of the body releasing adrenaline is to provide energy so that the major muscles of the body can respond to the perceived threat. (SOURCE:

WHAT EFFECT DOES ADRENALINE HAVE ON THE BODY?: The overall effect of adrenaline is to prepare the body for the "fight or flight" response. Key actions of adrenaline include: boosting the heart rate, increasing blood pressure, expanding the air passages of the lungs, enlarging the pupil in the eye, redistributing blood to the muscles, and altering the body's metabolism, to maximize blood glucose levels (primarily for the brain). (SOURCE:

THINGS YOU DIDN'T KNOW: Overproduction of adrenaline is rare. Too much adrenaline can be caused by a variety of things, including a rare tumor of the adrenal medulla (a phaeochromocytoma). Symptoms may include rapid heartbeat, high blood pressure, anxiety, weight loss, excessive sweating and palpitations. Also, suffering from too little adrenaline is very unusual. When the body produces too little adrenaline, it cannot respond to stressful or physically demanding situations properly. (SOURCE:

For More Information, Contact:
Jen Pollakusky
Safe Kids Worldwide
Office: 202.662.4476

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