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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?

Its 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.

Tom January 14, 2013 at 07:00 PM
The NHL also has a VERY serious concussion problem. Ask Ryan Clowe about his last season. Boxing is perhaps the worst followed by football then hockey, then you see a huge drop with most common sports nowhere near this level of danger.
Livermore-Dad January 14, 2013 at 08:14 PM
Eh, there are many ways that current jr football is helping out, and that is educating, teaching the right way to hit. Helmets were a bad idea (note rugby injury rates), as they have been used for years as a weapon in the game. As noted the new changes even in the NFL are trying to squash this behavior but it was instilled in the players for many years, Current Jr football and others are teaching a much different way to hit, tackle which negates the helmet to helmet contact. If your child shows interest in football let them try it out now at an early age where they will be learning with others that are learning. Don't hold them back and in high school let them learn the game, against 200lb kids that have learned how to hit/tackle/run people over already. LJFL is a great program, everyone plays.
Michael Delfino January 14, 2013 at 08:55 PM
I wish what Livermore-Dad said is 100% true and I'm sure that's their goal, but students of mine have told me that coaches with LJFL, GHS and LHS have all taught them to lead with their head on certain types of tackles. I'm sure if this teaching style can be proven, the coach would be removed, but I guess that proving it isn't exactly high on the priority list. Having said that, I would not allow my child to play football until he's older, but not because of injuries, but the attitude it instills. The "they want to take what's yours!" mentality that I've seen of many coaches/players. Uh no, they don't want to "take what's yours" they want to do the exact same thing you do, win a game! I'm all for healthy competition, I think it brings out the best in people--when approached the right way. Given the current climate of youth football (which I believe is a trickle effect from the pros, down to college, down to youth), I do not see how it promotes growth as a human being, but rather satisfying the parents' need to live vicariously through their child.
Tom January 14, 2013 at 09:15 PM
The other factor that people seem to miss is most HS sports coaches are some of the poorest in their field. I know when I played sports we all had private coaches and our HS coach left us alone and just made sure we trained. He was smart enough to not screw up what real professional coaches were doing. Of course there are some exception but most HS coaches are there for a reason, they are not good enough to go to the next level and make better money. This is hard reality in all sports but the stakes are so much higher with football due to the much higher risk. I also think this sport more than most (maybe not all) has a huge HGH and other PED problems that still very bad. So for me this is a no brainer Football is out. I have no issue with those that are fine with their own child playing though.
Just Sayin January 15, 2013 at 04:42 AM
My son has played for LJFL for the past 5 years and PJFL for 2 years. I asked him before writing this about leading with your head on a tackle...his response was "thats stupid you NEVER lead with your head." I don't know which coach taught that you should EVER lead with your head was, but we have never encountered such stupidity.. I just think it's a really bad idea to wait until high school to "try" football. By the time these boys play high school football, they are big boys, and they are going to hurt someone who has never taken a hit! If they learn the right way to play when they are all still a little smaller it's a lot safer.

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