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Would You Let Your Kids Play Football?

With Hall of Fame football player Junior Seau being the most recent former football player diagnosed with a degenerative brain disease connected to football, are you less likely to let you kid play football?

It's always been known that football, like any contact sport, has certain physical risks.

But more evidence is pointing to the risks going beyond broken bones and torn ligaments.

It was reported this week that Junior Seau, the Hall Fame linebacker, who committed suicide last summer suffered from degenerative brain disease called chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).

Seau shot himself in the chest, as did former football player Dave Duerson in 2011. Duerson shot himself in the chest because he wanted his brain examined. It was later determined he suffered from CTE.

Earlier this week, the National Institute of Health launched a study of sports-related concussions among youth, amid concerns that the injuries may have contributed to the suicides of professional football players.

With the recent uptick it what appears to be football-related deaths, are you more hesitant to allow your kids to play football? Are the risks outweighed by the possible life lessons some can learn from playing the sport? Tell us in the comments section.

Stephanie Travis January 14, 2013 at 10:42 PM
If you don’t think coaches ever encourage their players to take out opponents I suggest you Google the New Orleans Saints and Gregg Williams. It is true that offensive football players live longer than the average American male, probably because they have a much lower rate of smoking than the average male and they have access to better health care. However, defensive players have an average life span of about 54 years, 20 years less than the average American male. The number is getting worse, probably due to the increase in heart disease caused by, among other things, the increasing weight carried by more and more linemen. Just being black doesn’t make you a role model, being an excellent football player does, for many young boys. Torturing animals is no big deal. After all, Michael Vick did it and he makes millions and that’s all that matters, right? Is that who you want your sons cheering as he runs to the end zone?
Stephanie Travis January 14, 2013 at 10:43 PM
Many organizations injure human beings because their first priority is making money. But we fight those companies to try and make sure their employees are safe and they don’t harm the public with their products. What would happen if it was found that a company in America operated in such a way that many of its workers had a life span 20 years shorter than the average American, where thousands of its employees were subject to concussions and other health issues, due to their jobs? Would we just shrug our shoulders, look the other way, and say that’s part of the cost of doing business and no one forces those employees to work for that company? We do if its football and even if it’s children who are the employees taking the risks.
Eden O'Brien-Brenner January 18, 2013 at 04:37 PM
From what my son says, we are the only parents who do not allow their kids to play football. I have 2 boys at AHS and one who has always wanted to play. We've said no for the past 8 years and are continuing to do so. So recent brain damage info to us was not a surprise, just validation for a safe decision.
ECFamily January 18, 2013 at 05:26 PM
Several factors play a role in not allowing my son to play team football: --having a doctor for a father, who told us the injuries he had seen as a result of football, including concussions, broken clavicles, and so on; --recent (and not-so-recent) research and studies on brain injuries as a result of football --my own experiences as a high school student, and witnessing a classmate injured on the field during a game, and later finding out that he was paralyzed from the neck down. With all of the other options for team sports (my son plays baseball, soccer, tennis, and swims), he will not play football. He gets it, and agrees with this decision. He has seen the research, and has no desire to play.
Arthur Battram January 20, 2013 at 12:30 PM
For another take on children and risky physical activity, have a look here: http://alameda.patch.com//blog_posts/please-dont-help-my-kids There's a lively, considered and considerate debate about children playing and parents (and others) letting them get on with it...

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