"Bell Rung" documentary about football-related brain injury - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 12 Old 09-27-2012, 12:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I was listening to the Judith Regan show on the radio this morning, and her guest was Dorsey Levens, an ex-player for the Packers who made a documentary called "Bell Rung" about the concussions that NFL players sustain, and how these can add up to a lifetime of brain injury-associated problems. It was really interesting and scary, especially when he started talking about how even children who play football can suffer these concussions, and how since their brains aren't fully developed they can be particularly damaging. He mentioned the phenomenon of "second concussion" (or second-impact syndrome), where kids aren't given enough time to fully recover from a concussion before receiving another one, and the result can be severe. 

 

Anyway, it was just 15 minutes of a radio show that I listened to -- I have no idea about the veracity of his statements, but it was interesting enough to pass along since it seems that, in my area at least, so many really young kids are playing tackle football. 

 

How do you feel about children playing tackle football? Do your kids play? What safety measures do the coaches, parents, and league take? Do you feel they're adequate? 


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#2 of 12 Old 09-27-2012, 03:32 PM
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I refuse to let my son play football for this very reason.


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#3 of 12 Old 09-27-2012, 08:36 PM
 
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I steered my son away from football when he was young for this reason (among others), but when he was a frosh in HS, he wanted to play, so I let him. Of course, he was (is) the most unathletic kid, so he rode the bench for most of the season.

 

One thing I HAVE seen over the years of being a sports Mom (my daughter is the athlete of the family) is that concussive injuries are being taken much more seriously than they used to be. I know kids (girls and boys, in various contact sports) who are kept out of play (including practice) until they can pass the standard evaluation. Despite the kid's pleas, parents' pleas, coaches pleas... They DO NOT get to take the field until a doctor clears them. And that's good.
 

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#4 of 12 Old 09-27-2012, 08:54 PM
 
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Both the NFL and the NHL and associated youth organizations are taking this much more seriously in the last couple years. Some high schools are having athletes take pre- season neurological tests so if they get a head injury they have a baseline. The athlete can't return to play until they can achieve their pre season scores.

A boy on my son's lacrosse team last year was out the whole season due to a concussion. Every time he tried to do academics he would start throwing up. Not something to mess with.

Several professional athletes have committed suicide by shooting themselves in the heart so that their brains can be preserved and studied.

My athletic son has shown no interest in football but does play both ice hockey and lacrosse at a pretty competitive level. So fan (knock on wood) the only concussion he's gotten was when he stood too long with his knees locked in choir. He passed out and fell off the bleachers head first. ;-)
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#5 of 12 Old 09-28-2012, 12:36 AM
 
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Hey 34me... Did you know that Women's Lacrosse is not considered a contact sport? My daughter was tapped to play for her college team (DIII) - she plays field hockey for them - and she was pretty peeved to discover that.

 

Our local HSs perform a baseline neurological test for all HS contact sports, male & female. er club team? Had no requirement for a physical, etc. Just a waiver for me to sign. So getting that baseline was up to me.

 

Parents who sign their kids up for Pop Warner, etc.? Need to push for similar reforms in those activities.
 

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#6 of 12 Old 09-28-2012, 06:24 AM
 
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They've passed some laws recently about concussions and children's sports.  My dh runs a select baseball club and they take it very seriously. My ds plays select baseball and tackle football, it scares me so much because it can happen just that easily.  My (at the time) 3 year old fell off the swings and had a mild concussion and the after affects hung on for weeks.   I don't feel right about stopping him from playing, he loves it, it's his passion and he could just as easily get hurt falling out of a tree (which has happened).  Tackle still scares me though.

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#7 of 12 Old 09-28-2012, 06:42 AM
 
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DS and DD played recreational hockey for years. It was non-contact (no bodychecking) until after age 13 or so, and by then DD stopped playing. I was always kind of happy that they didn't play at a more competitive level, where there was more  "incidental contact", which was allowed, as opposed to deliberate hitting. 

 

The coaches and the leagues were aware of safety measures and the gravity of head injuries. No baseline neuro checks though, although that may have changed since my kids stopped playing.

 

I was okay with hockey and signed up DS when he said he wanted to try it - he was 5 at the time. At that age, kids are more likely to hit their heads by falling than from any contact with other players. That's likely to happen during any kind of skating, so it wasn't a reason to avoid hockey. I didn't encourage football since that sport is all about body contact and tackling and thankfully neither of them was ever interested. Boxing is one of the few things I would have forbidden - or at least refused to support in any way, including paying for fees and equipment, helping with transportation, or attending practices or matches. 

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#8 of 12 Old 09-29-2012, 07:12 PM
 
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We have a "no football" rule in our family. Considering that around me they play tackle football as little kids, that's not such a bad thing.


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#9 of 12 Old 09-29-2012, 10:26 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtiger View Post

Hey 34me... Did you know that Women's Lacrosse is not considered a contact sport? My daughter was tapped to play for her college team (DIII) - she plays field hockey for them - and she was pretty peeved to discover that.

Our local HSs perform a baseline neurological test for all HS contact sports, male & female. er club team? Had no requirement for a physical, etc. Just a waiver for me to sign. So getting that baseline was up to me.

Parents who sign their kids up for Pop Warner, etc.? Need to push for similar reforms in those activities.

 
I always thought it was crazy that girls lax is "non contact". And my son wears a helmet but my daughter could not. Same ball. Girls lax is actually the number one sport in which athletes (any gender) are receiving head injuries.
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#10 of 12 Old 09-30-2012, 09:20 AM
 
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My DS does not and has never played football and it is a sport we never encouraged. He is a soccer player. There are definitely concussions in the sport and I see quite a few kids wearing protective head gear these days as parents are more aware of the dangers, especially after they have experienced a concussion. The sport at a youth level does quite a bit to educate the parents on concussions and giving a young player enough time to heal.


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#11 of 12 Old 10-01-2012, 02:11 PM
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I steered my kids toward running for this very reason.   

 

But the High School still flipped out about the concussion forms.   Parents and student athletes had to attend a meeting and both had to sign the form.  For all sports.


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#12 of 12 Old 10-12-2012, 02:25 PM
 
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We have a no football rule as well. It doesn't matter if the kids are given better helmets and padding, they actually hit each other harder when they have better helmets and may receive even worse injuries.

The other contact sports are safer, even though they don't wear as much padding. Boys aren't stupid, they dont crash head first into each other in those meager rugby helmets. They play a safer game.

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