Child boxers need protection, expert says

Child boxers need protection, expert says

An expert on child safety says new rules should be put in to prevent 9-year-old professional boxers from punching to the head in their bouts. (Bangkok Post file photo)
An expert on child safety says new rules should be put in to prevent 9-year-old professional boxers from punching to the head in their bouts. (Bangkok Post file photo)

Thai boxers younger than 15 years old are being urged to avoid "head contact" to reduce the risk of brain injuries, while children aged under nine should be banned from Thai boxing.

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Expert urges 'no head contact' among young boxers

Prangthong Jitcharoenkul

Thai boxers younger than 15 years old are being urged to avoid "head contact" to reduce the risk of brain injuries, while children aged under nine should be banned from Thai boxing.

"Children aged between nine and 15 can take part in boxing, but direct head contact must not be allowed," Adisak Plitapolkarnpim, director of the Child Safety Promotion and Injury Prevention Research Centre (CSIP) told the 9th Health Assembly at Impact Arena Muang Thong Thani in Nonthaburi recently.

Boxers aged between 13 and 15 can enjoy the fighting sport with light contact to the head and face, he said.

Dr Adisak, also an expert in child health, said the fighting rules should be revised to protect child boxers from possible injury to their brains.

"Spectators and a change in the boxing rules can play a vital role in preventing child boxers from suffering brain injuries, abnormality in the brain structure, Parkinson's disease and early-onset Alzheimer's later in life," he said.

He suggested the rules be changed to allow points to be gained from an "accurate" punch and if the boxer punches his opponent's head too hard, points should be deducted.

Dr Adisak also advises child boxers aged under nine to avoid any contact sport.

"The Boxing Act sets 15 as the minimum age to compete professionally, but few people involved in the muay Thai industry follow the law, so it has made little impact," he said.

Instead of getting involved in fights, Dr Adisak said underage boxers can instead perform wai kru, a traditional ritual in which students pay respect to their teachers.

"No one is safe from getting punched in the face or head directly," he said, insisting his intention was not to ban children from joining Thai boxing.

Meanwhile, he stressed that wearing head protection gear must be made compulsory for all ages. Dr Adisak said the 1999 Boxing Act should be amended to come in line with the Child Protection Act, the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act and the Convention on the Rights of the Child for the benefit of child boxers.

"We know Muay Thai paid fighters have been exploited in the past like child labourers and the matter still remains a serious concern," he said, referring to the 2014 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labour conducted by the United States Department of Labour's Bureau of International Labour Affairs.

According to the CSIP, from 2007 to 2015, 420 young boxers registered with the Board of Boxing under the Sports Authority of Thailand annually.

The number of boxers aged under 15 registered with the board rose from 929 in 2007 to 9,998 this year.

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  • abnormality (noun): things that are not normal, not the way they should be, deviant - ผิดปกติ, ผิดธรรมดา, ผิดวิสัย, ผิดแปลก, แปลก
  • accurate: to be able to throw, shoot, kick, etc. something that hits or reaches the thing that it was aimed at - แม่นยำ
  • Act: a law passed by a country’s government - กฎหมาย
  • advise: to tell somebody what you think they should do in a particular situation - แนะนำ, แจ้ง
  • affairs: events affecting a government, organisation, industry, etc. - กรณียกิจ, กิจธุระ
  • Alzheimer's disease (noun): a serious disease, especially affecting older people, that prevents the brain from functioning normally and causes loss of memory, loss of ability to speak clearly, etc. - โรคอัลซไฮเมอร์, โรคสมองเสื่อม
  • amend: to make changes to a document, law, agreement, etc. especially in order to improve it - การแก้ไขกฎหมาย
  • annually: happening every year - ทุกๆปีด
  • assembly: a group of people who have been elected or chosen in order to discuss issues and make decisions - สภา, สมัชชา
  • avoid: to stay away from; to not use - หลีกเลี่ยง
  • ban: to officially say that someone is not allowed to do something   - ห้ามอย่างเป็นทางการ
  • banned: officially prevented from doing something - ห้าม ห้างอย่างเด็ดขาด
  • benefit: an advantage you get from a situation; a helpful or good effect, or something intended to help - ผลประโยชน์, ข้อได้เปรียบ, ผลดี
  • brain: the organ inside the head that controls movement, thought, memory and feeling - สมอง
  • bureau: a government organisation - สำนักงาน
  • compete: to try to be more successful or better than somebody else who is trying to do the same as you - แข่งขัน
  • compulsory: if something is compulsory, you must do it because of a rule or law - ที่จำเป็นต้องทำ
  • concern: a worry - ความกังวล
  • conduct: to do something in an organised way; to carry out — - ลงมือทำ, ดำเนิน, ปฏิบัติ
  • contact (noun): a situation in which people or things touch each other or come very close to each other - การสัมผัส
  • convention: an official agreement between countries or leaders - สนธิสัญญ, ข้อตกลง
  • deduct: to take away an amount or part from a total - หักออก
  • director (noun): the head of a large organisation, especially a public organisation - อธิบดี
  • expert: someone who has a particular skill or who knows a lot about a particular subject - ผู้เชี่ยวชาญ
  • exploit: to treat someone unfairly in order to get some benefit for yourself - หาประโยชน์จาก
  • gain: to gradually get more of something - เพิ่ม
  • gear: the special clothes or equipment that you use for a particular activity - อุปกรณ์ ในการทำกิจกรรมต่างๆ
  • impact (noun): an effect or influence - ผลกระทบ
  • in line with: similar to or corresponding with another thing - สอดคล้องกับ
  • industry: the people and activities involved in producing a particular thing, or in providing a particular service; the production of goods from raw materials, especially in factories - อุตสาหกรรม
  • injury (noun): physical damage done to a person or a part of their body - อาการบาดเจ็บ
  • insisting: saying very firmly that something is true, even when other people will not believe you - ยืนกราน
  • intention: a plan in your mind to do something - ความตั้งใจ เจตนา แผนการ
  • involved (verb): taking part or having a role in something - เกี่ยวข้อง, มีบทบาท
  • labourer: a person whose job involves hard physical work that is not skilled, especially work that is done outdoors - กรรมกร, ผู้ใช้แรงงาน
  • light: not heavy - เบา,ไม่หนัก
  • matter: a situation or subject which is being dealt with or considered - เรื่อง, ภารกิจ, งาน
  • meanwhile: at the same time - ในเวลาเดียวกัน
  • minimum: the lowest possible; the lowest allowed - ต่ำที่สุด, น้อยที่สุด
  • opponent: a person or team being competed against in a sports event - คู่ต่อสู้
  • Parkinson's disease (noun): a type of movement disorder which gets worse over time and causes victims to shake constantly -
  • pay respect to: to show deep admiration for someone/something - แสดงความเคารพ
  • prevention: preventing something bad from happening - การป้องกันภ้ย
  • professionally: done by a person who does a job that needs special training and a high level of education ผู้เชี่ยวชาญในวิชาชีพ,ผู้มีวิชาชีพ -
  • protection: the act of protecting somebody/something; the state of being protected - การอารักขา, การปกป้อง
  • punch: a hard hit made with the fist (= closed hand) - การชก, การต่อย
  • reduce: to make something smaller or less in amount, size, importance etc - ลดลง
  • register: to put your name and other information on an official list in order to be allowed to do something, e.g., vote, study, stay in a hotel etc - ลงทะเบียน
  • research: a careful study of a subject, especially in order to discover new facts or information about it - การวิจัย
  • revise: to change, improve, or make additions to something - แก้ไข
  • rights (noun): the basic rights which it is generally considered all people (or animals) should have, such as justice, freedom and the freedom to say what you think - สิทธิ
  • risk: the possibility that something dangerous or unpleasant might happen - ความเสี่ยง
  • ritual: a set of fixed actions and sometimes words performed regularly, especially as part of a ceremony - พิธีกรรม
  • role: the position or purpose that someone or something has in a situation, organisation, society or relationship - บทบาท
  • spectators (noun): people who watch an activity without taking part - ผู้เข้าชม
  • Sports Authority of Thailand (noun): a state enterprise under the control of the Ministry of Tourism and Sports. It was established to promote sports and to make sure that sports events in Thailand have efficiently been organized and continuously developed. - การกีฬาแห่งประเทศไทย
  • stress: to emphasise something such as an idea, fact or detail; to explain why something is important - เน้น
  • structure: the way in which the parts of something are connected together, arranged or organised - โครงสร้าง
  • take part in (verb): to join and be part of some activity; participate as a participant - เข้าร่วม มีส่วนร่วม
  • traditional (adj): of a custom, a way of life or a way of doing things that has not changed for a long time - เป็นประเพณี, ตามธรรมเนียม, ตามที่ปฏิบัติกันมา
  • trafficking: dealing in illegal goods, like drugs, weapons or in illegally moving humans or animals from one place to another - การค้าสิ่งที่ผิดกฎหมาย
  • urge: to advise someone very strongly about what action or attitude they should take - ผลักดัน, กระตุ้น
  • vital: extremely important; necessary for the success or continued existence of something - จำเป็นสำหรับชีวิต; สำคัญมาก
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