Posts Tagged ‘ sports concussions ’

2013 and … Kids’ Sports

Friday, December 20th, 2013

We need to promote physical activity in kids of all ages. But we also need to be sure that they are as safe as possible.

In 2013 we witnessed a slew of reports on concussions and some focused on concussions in kids. Many are coming from the world of professional sports, where highly trained and talented individuals are suffering from the lasting effects of head injuries. We also hear, on occasion, tragic stories of kids who suffer severe, and sometimes fatal, effects of head on head contact. It’s noted that the risk for concussion is not limited to football, and occurs in most sports (though with varying degrees of risk).

While there was more collective discussion about concussions in kids’ sports in 2013, there was hardly enough – and far from a systematic and forward looking framework offered. In part, this comes from either dismissal of the importance of the topic or a general acceptance of the risk, without a thoughtful consideration that we need to make sports safer for kids.

Let’s hope that changes in 2014.

Concussion via Shutterstock.com

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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 Shutterstock.com

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