Posts Tagged ‘ football ’

What’s Wrong With Making Sports Safer For Kids?

Monday, September 30th, 2013

Sometimes the title of a blog post can send reader’s off in a direction that is surprising to me. Case in point:

Helmet to Helmet: Is Football Too Dangerous For Kids?

The recent deaths of two high school players inspired this blog post. The point was that, like the National Football League, we seem to be at a point in time when we need to evaluate how to make football safer for kids.

However, many reader’s reactions were quite reactionary. Thinks like we are making are kids “soft”; we complain that they don’t exercise but then stop them; that football has always been dangerous; that cheerleading or soccer is more dangerous; that your kids were gonna keep playing no matter what.

The point of the blog post, though, wasn’t to say that kids shouldn’t play football. It was simply to say that we seem to be at a point in time when we need to make it safer for them. And, yes, the broader point applies to any sport or physical activity.

So … is this really a bad thing to suggest? Are parents taking their kids’ safety seriously? Is there some reason we wouldn’t monitor their activities and strive to figure out how to keep them as healthy as possible … and avoid catastrophic head injuries? Or were readers just reacting to the title without actually reading the blog post?

I’m curious to hear your responses.

Brain Trauma via



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Helmet to Helmet: Is Football Too Dangerous For Kids?

Friday, September 27th, 2013

This country loves football. Kids love to play football. But is it too dangerous?

I’m tired of seeing headlines about teens dying playing football. Most times it’s because of helmet to helmet contact. There was a story last month about a teen who died after making a tackle. Now we have heard about a teen in New York who died after helmet to helmet contact.

I get that football is a rough game. I get that now and then unusual injuries happen. But it’s clear that football has become too dangerous for the brain. While the National Football League is paying some attention to the rate and consequences of concussions many still feel as if there is a lack of transparency or urgency about addressing the magnitude of the concussion issue. The game goes on, players suffer concussions, and we see what happens to a fair number of them over time.

But while there is an obligation to make the NFL safer for players, we really need to step back and figure out how to prevent high school kids from dying playing football. We take driving and texting seriously because it kills. We put in changes in practices to minimize that risk. Who is going to step up to try to make it safer for teens to play football?

Take a look at this image of an American football helmet. When two kids are wearing this, and these helmets collide, it is dangerous for the brain. And sometimes lethal.

American Football Helmet via

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