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Parents cautious following youth sports abuse scandals

Safety guidelines are being urged for these programs to avoid the potential for similar problems in the future.

Posted: Feb. 27, 2018 12:38 PM
Updated: Feb. 27, 2018 12:38 PM

SEATTLE (AP) - With Olympic prodigies having just dazzled audiences worldwide, parents in the U.S. are reconciling the thrill of the gold with their fears from recent sexual abuse scandals in elite youth sports.

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High-profile cases of sexual abuse and other predatory behavior in gymnastics, swimming and other sports have jolted many parents who believe athletics can be an important part of their child's development. Some now feel compelled to be more cautious in monitoring their child's contact with coaches and other adults.

Experts say the spotty rules and certifications for coaches and glorification of sports culture can make children who feel pressure to achieve even more vulnerable.

Some urge all sports programs to create safety guidelines that clearly indicate the protocol for adults who suspect abuse.

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