Studies into head injuries continually seem to suggest that football and other contact sports might be too dangerous for kids. The controversy began when medicine first started to understand the effects of concussions and head injuries on players. When the NFL was recently forced to pay an enormous settlement of $900 million to former players who suffered from head injuries, it sparked a national conversation about the potential long-term dangers of sports injuries.
Anne McKee, an expert in brain injuries at Boston University, answered questions about head injuries in her recent interview with the Washington Post. Mckee discussed the scientific studies on these injuries, and explained how people with past head trauma are far more likely to suffer from brain disease and other ailments later in life. Here are just a few sobering numbers on the issue:
- 95 percent of the 94 players her lab has examined suffered from brain damage issues.
- 82.8 percent of college football players without professional experience have similar brain issues.
- The lab found head injuries in high school football players as young as 17
- Mckee warned that developing brains are more vulnerable to head trauma than adult brains.
Her numbers seem to suggest that football at all levels presents a serious risk to the human brain.
Is Letting Your Kids Play Worth the Risk of Head Injuries?
Football and other rough sports are an iconic part of American life. There are also many health benefits that go along with getting regular exercise through athletic competition. Many view childhood sports as an essential character building exercise for children, but the safety issues may be at odds with the other benefits.
When directly asked if young kids should be allowed to play tackle football, the expert gave a firm no. She stressed that football and any other sports that involve regular blows to the head are simply too dangerous for a developing brain. Of course, it is up to children and parents to consider the many benefits and risks of contact sports, and decide whether to join a team.
Galloway Jefcoat, LPP, is a Louisiana law firm with a passion for defending victims of head trauma and other injuries. We’re here to fight for you and your family.