Hmm. Is my kid safe playing football? Let’s talk about that. Down, set, hike!
In all seriousness, folks, especially if you’re a parent, this is a huge issue. I have kids. They play flag football. I thought, as a parent, “What could be better?” They’re fast. They’re strong. They’re popular when they’re playing. They enjoy the game.
So why wouldn’t I allow them to play full contact football? Why wouldn’t I allow them to wrestle or box? Why shouldn’t you?
There’s a reason. Every parent needs to make that decision, but you need to make that decision in an informed way. We’ve had seven people die this year, already, playing high school sports because of head trauma.
Sometimes, what people don’t appreciate, it’s not the head trauma that’s the most dangerous thing. It’s not dying on the football field. It’s the effect of a concussion, chronic traumatic encephalopathy. It’s a big word. But what it means is when you take a repetitive pounding to the head, it has an impact on you years later. So it’s not what you do in the game. It’s not how you act 20 minutes after the game. It’s what happens to you 20 years later.
There’s more and more data, now, that shows that it’s linked to early onset dementia. It can cause Alzheimer’s when you weren’t otherwise going to get it. There are folks, former football players, now who are dead because they’ve committed suicide. There are football players that can’t find the keys to their car.
So as a parent, you owe it to your kids, you owe it to yourselves to read up on this and understand the dangers.
There are things that can be done. There’s ways of lessening the risk. But I think if you review all the data and all the information, unfortunately, when you’re dealing with these type of sports, there’s no way, ever, of eliminating the risk.
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