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Baseball, cycling among dangerous sports for kids

Tuesday - 4/30/2013, 4:00am  ET

softball (A. Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Most softball injuries do not come from being hit by a ball that's pitched. (A. Messerschmidt/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON - If your child is into sports, you should know it's not just football or hockey that could put him at risk of head injury.

A Men's Health Magazine list of eight sports and recreational activities that put kids at high risk for brain injury includes baseball and softball, cycling, lacrosse and even cheerleading.

Dr. Robert Cantu, co-director of Boston University's Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy, says most bad baseball-related injuries come from trying to slide into a base, not from being hit by a ball.

Cantu also says cheerleaders called "flyers" that frequently get tossed high in the air are at high risk for head and spine injuries.

Some experts think girls who play lacrosse are more likely to get hurt than boys because they don't wear helmets and have weaker necks, according to Men's Health.

As for riding a bike, the American Association of Neurological Surgeons found bicycling sent significantly more people to emergency rooms with head injuries in 2009 than any other sport or recreational activity.

For the full list and more information, see Men's Health.

WTOP's Michelle Basch contributed to this report. Follow @MBaschWTOP and @WTOP on Twitter.

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