Lawsuit argues dodgeball unsafe for young kids

Lawsuit argues dodgeball unsafe for young kids

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The game of dodgeball has enjoyed a comeback thanks to the hit 2004 movie of the same name.

But a lawsuit filed last week suggests that the game is too dangerous for young school children.

The suit was filed on behalf of an 11-year-old student who attended Noelani Elementary School's A+ after school program. The suit said she suffered serious neck injuries after she was hit in the face with a dodgeball back in 2014.

"(The school) was negligent in supervising the activities of the employees of the A+ program on the premises of Noelani Elementary School ... causing serious personal injuries, bodily harm, mental and emotional distress," attorney Eric Seitz wrote, in the suit.

According to Seitz, participation in the game was made mandatory and that staffer encouraged boys to throw at girls. A student was given extra points for hitting a girl, he said.

The lawsuit said neither the A+ staff nor Noelani School officials told the girl's parents that their daughter was injured or that their daughter was playing the game in the first place.

Dr. Rachel Coel, a pediatrician who is the director of the Queen's Center for Sports Medicine, said while dodgeball isn't inherently more dangerous than contact sports like football, injuries from the game aren't unusual.

"In dodgeball, the injuries I have seen are because they have either been struck in the head or neck area or struck in the head by an errant throw that was meant for the legs or the body," she said. "I did see one case where someone was struck in the body and it was a whiplash type of event."

The Department of Education had no comment on the suit.

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