Does Football Raise or Raze Kids?

Football is a sport that has been played for over a century. Its popularity has grown immensely since the 1958 NFL Championship game. It is now the most popular sport in America. It brings in nearly a half of a billion dollars in revenue each week. In America football is seen as one of our great things that we can all watch and celebrate together. Boys these days grow up watching their idols on the football field. These boys want to be just like their idols, so when they get in between the ages of 6-14 they ask their parents if they can play football. A lot of parents are unsure on whether they should allow their kid to play because of all the new studies about concussions, but they should realize that it isn’t as hard of a decision as it may seem. Grade school football isn’t as dangerous as people claim, especially if the kids are taught the right way to play the sport. The good of football outweighs the bad because football instills hard work, leadership, teamwork, and a sense of brotherhood that no other sport comes close to matching.

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The rules of football have went through a lot of transitions since it was first created. They have added in extra pads, helmets, new rules, and people are more aware of the risks. They always have on the news how football can impact the brain, and how concussions are so prevalent amongst football players, but this is usually about older players like high school to professional age. Although football is a contact sport, it is less dangerous than it is believed to be. Yes, some kids will maybe break a bone or sprain an ankle, but brain damage is very unlikely amongst kids. Most parents are more worried about the brain damage because that is a more lasting injury, but is rare amongst grade school players. Concussion expert, Dr. Joseph Maroon believes that this is the safest it has ever been. Dr. Maroon is the neurosurgeon for the Pittsburgh Steelers and also works at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. He has worked for the Steelers for 35 years. He explains how a big concern for parents is the threat of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy. CTE is caused by repetitive brain trauma, and it can lead to memory loss, confusion, depression, and dementia. Dr. Maroon explains how CTE was first realized amongst football players in 2002, and since then there has been about 70 cases amongst football players. Now to some parents that may seem like 70 too many, but most of these injuries have been NFL players. According to Dr. Maroon the odds of you getting CTE because of football is about one in a million. These are about the same odds of getting struck by lightning. Dr. Maroon also points out that the four leading reasons for head injuries among kids aged 6-14 are automobiles, bicycling riding, playgrounds and self-propelled scooters. Should we not let our kids do these things too?

Football is a dangerous game that isn’t meant for everyone, but if a kid wants to take a chance and try it out, I think they should be able to do play. They will be able to polish certain skills that will make them more mature. Kids are going to get injured no matter what they do. Football players will occasionally get hurt, but they can stay as safe as possible if they are taught the right way to play. At the end of the day we all just want what is best for the kids.

1 thought on “Does Football Raise or Raze Kids?

  1. Natalie Elizabeth Burns

    I really liked this post! I feel like the discussion of the danger related to football is something I always hear about. Even though I grew up with no brothers, I still have many close cousins who have played or are currently playing football. I agree that football can be very dangerous and now with such an intense focus on sports, sometimes kids just play the sport because it’s “cool”. However, like you pointed out, it’s claimed that football is the safest it’s ever been. But how can it be with all the new rules and safer equipment? The first thing that came to mind was that maybe there is something in evolution that is happening with our brain tissue that is making children more susceptible to concussions. Even when I played field hockey and lacrosse, there were always multiple teammates sidelined to concussions, but when our parents were growing up concussions were barely a topic mentioned. I feel like this would be something interesting to look into.

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