Half of Americans think playing football is ‘inappropriate’ for children

By Amy Norton
Health Announcer

MONDAY, April 4, 2022 (HealthDay News) – Registration for youth football is starting this spring, a new study has revealed that Americans may want their football, but half think the children to play the tackle control of the game.

Researchers found that of about 4,000 U.S. parents surveyed, only 45% agreed that playing football is a “proper sport for children to play.” Half do not, although the other 5% are not clear.

The review did not dig into the reasons behind those assumptions. But safety concerns may be important, said researcher Mariah Warner, a medical student in science at Ohio State University, in Columbus.

The biggest concern with football, he said, is concussion – and whether or not players can hit the head too often at the risk of long -term problems with memory or memory. other functions of the brain.

Concern has increased in recent years, due to high cases of chronic brain injury among former NFL players. Players such as Frank Gifford and Junior Seau, after their deaths, have symptoms of a degenerative brain disease called chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).

CTE is a form of brain degeneration that is believed to be due to headache. It is available not only to early football players, but also to players who have played other related sports, such as hockey and boxing.

When it comes to juvenile sports, the long -term effects of concussion are unclear, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

The AAP is one of the few medical and sports -related organizations that has come up with programs to take care of football for children. They include a ban on head -scratching and certain “high -risk” coaches, as well as having sports coaches in activities and games, to help ensure players with concussions can be taken from the site.

Other regulations – including a ban on arguing before the age of 14 – are still in dispute.

In hindsight, Warner and co -founder Chris Knoester wanted to get the public’s attention.

They sought data from the National Sports and Society Survey, which sought Americans ’perceptions of sports -related topics. One questioner asked them to rate how much they agreed or disagreed with the statement, “Play is a good sport for children to play.”

It became clear that Americans, like many others, were divided.

And there are demographics that separate the two camps, Warner said. Not surprisingly, heterosexual men have announced more support for children’s football, including women and people who are perceived to be gay or bisexual.

Most of those differences were explained by personal experience, even though heterosexual men often played football as children. But broad opinions are also included: Self -explanatory conservatives, for example, are more supportive of youth football.

Currently, low -income and black Americans have better perceptions than high -income white respondents.

Warner said those families might think less about their children’s activities. In addition, they may see football as a way to get a college education.

“It’s hard to believe and people’s feelings,” Warner said. In fact, he added, this is probably the most difficult reason to get agreement on applications such as binding.

The information was published online on March 26 in the journal Communities.

So which side is “right?” That is also difficult.

It’s true about other athletes who play, concussions are higher than in football, said Thayne Munce, a sports scientist with Sanford Health, in Sioux Falls, SD, and a fellow student. at the American College of Sports Medicine.

But he also said that public viewing of the media at CTE will be greatly influenced by veteran NFL players – the age of difficulty is very different to the experience of children playing. youth football.

In addition, Munce said, today’s youth football is very different from previous years.

“I think what’s left out of public speaking is how the game is moving in the right direction,” he said.

In a new study, his team found signs that concussion awareness and new safety advice were changing. They played one youth football team in eight seasons, with the help of helmeted observers. At that time, the risk of headaches in children – which can lead to concussion – dropped by 79%.

What is the risk of concussion in children?

In high school, concussion rates are higher for boys, according to the 2018 AAP report. The number is around 0.5 to 0.9 concussions for every 1,000 games and activities. (At the bottom of the list is girls ’football, with a score of 0.3 to 0.7 per 1,000.)

Images from junior football are even harder to collect, Munce said. It’s even harder for parents, he said, to weigh the risks with the many benefits children get from playing team sports.

Keeping young players on the flagpole seems like a no-brainer: All the benefits with minimal headaches.

But, says Munce, some argue the delay in learning effective concussion techniques can be reversible: more and more high school athletes are having difficulty resolving concussions.

“The answer is, we don’t know,” Munce said.

Some people worry that the delay will reduce the overall skills of players, Warner said.

“But,” he said, “Tom Brady didn’t play football until he was 14 years old.”

See more

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a higher incidence of concussions in young athletes.

TEACHERS: Mariah Warner, doctoral student, sociology, Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio; Thayne Munce, PhD, Sanford Health, Sioux Falls, SD, and associate, American College of Sports Medicine, Indianapolis; Social Currents, March 26, 2022, online

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