DEAR HARRIETTE: My son began doing gymnastics about a year ago. He excelled more than we ever thought he would, but in the midst of doing a backflip, he broke his hand. I was so scared for him to go through this as a 6-year-old. He's going to have the cast off in a few weeks.
I don't want to send him back to gymnastics. It's dangerous! My husband says our son loves it so much, we shouldn't hold him back. Surely there are other sports that aren't so dangerous? I think we could sign him up for golf lessons. -- No More Danger, Cincinnati
DEAR NO MORE DANGER: I fully understand why you would be concerned about your son's safety. The reality is that gymnastics can be dangerous, but so can any other sport -- including golf. Before you take him out, talk to his doctor about the healing process. Typically, young children heal quickly, so he will probably fully recover. Next, talk to the gymnastics teacher. Ask about the safety measures that are followed so that you can learn what is being done to prevent injury. Learn how to guide your son to be as safe as possible.
Even if later down the road you decide not to have your son continue gymnastics, I do not recommend quitting now, as it sends an unfortunate message. Don't instill fear. Let him have a chance to be brave and to try the sport again, after injury.