Is Football Too Dangerous at a Young Age?

There is a lot of talk to today that tackle football is causing too many long term injuries in players. Is that necessarily true?

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Here are some reasons why football would be too dangerous for young kids. There are a number of things that can go wrong according to whyy.org. Things such as concussions, crippling diseases and even Alzheimer’s disease just from playing the game. One reason football is too dangerous is because of CTE which is a deadly brain disease that is a result of repetitive hits to head. Many kids start the game of football at an age of as low as 4 years old. At that age, the child’s brain is not fully developed which can the brain more likely to be damaged. With more and more young people playing football, the risk of early childhood disabilities is becoming greater. Depression, erratic behavior, and headaches are some long term effects of the brain injuries. There are no helmets that keep kids 100% safe from head injuries. Researchers tested different brands of helmets and there was virtually no difference in the concussion rate between them. The percentages for Xenith helmets are 6%, Riddell has a 9% concussion rate, and Schutt has 8% concussion  rate. These numbers may not seem low but they add up over time when your child is constantly getting hit. The final reason that your child shouldn’t play football is that there is a critical build up of proteins in your brain that has been linked to Alzheimer’s. This has been proven to be 5 times more likely in people that have suffered concussions and memory loss. There has yet to be a drug to prevent this from happening so if your child has played football and gotten a concussion as well as suffered from memory loss, they are at risk. 

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On the contrary, football is not too dangerous. More youth coaches than ever are taking education classes on how to keep the children safe while playing football. There are new methods of tackling being introduced to keep the kids’ heads out of the way and hit with their shoulder pads. The coaches are also being informed on how long to keep the kids on the bench and off the field when they have to come out of the game due to a head injury. The majority of severe concussions in football come from continuing to play when you already have a concussion. In all reality, what sport is risk free? There aren’t many. The severe concussion rate for boys’ soccer is higher than that of boys’ football. Not the concussion rate itself but the severe concussion rate. Basically any sport or physical activity can cause a concussion. Football is becoming safer due to USA Football, the official youth league for the NFL, who are providing coaches with the proper knowledge that they need. These include certified coaching education, concussion awareness, USA tackle football progression model, and proper levels of contact at practice. At the end of the day, football is not too dangerous to play at any age due to the new methods of tackling and concussion awareness.

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Personally, I believe that football is not too dangerous to play. The game has many benefits. Both physical and mental. On the physical side, you obviously have to be in great shape to tackle and run after the other players. You will learn to hydrate properly and treat your body the way it needs in order to perform well. In football there is a lot of hitting and pushing going on which will help with your muscle tone and the amount of muscle that you have. When you begin to get older, you will start working out. Things such as running and lifting weights which will you get you in great physical shape. On the mental side of things, you will be taught how to be determined. You will need to be determined in order to be the best you. Not only will you need to be determined for yourself but also for you teammates which will help you with your teamwork skills. Your team all trying to accomplish a common goal. I don’t believe that it is too dangerous to play at all. There are new helmets being invented to decrease the amount of head injuries. There are new ways of tackling that prevent people from getting head injuries. Personally, I have gotten more concussions out of football than I have in football and I’ve played for 9 years. So is football really the problem? Maybe people should worry about the other sports that have no pads at all.

I ran a poll on Twitter with question, “Is football too dangerous to start at a young age?” There were 90 people that took part in this poll. 72 people said that it was not too dangerous leaving only 18 that said it was. That is a 60% difference.

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