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Should You Let Your Child Play Football?

After the recent news of two college football players suffering terrible injuries — one Rutgers player being paralyzed from the waist down and a Penn football player who killed himself, even though there were no obvious signs of traumatic brain injury — Robin at Strollerderby asking whether or not she should let her son play football. She writes:

“Spinal cord injuries like the one suffered by LeGrand don’t happen very often in football. It’s awful and tragic when they do, but there are rules in place that minimize the risk factors. If letting my son play football were just about the potential for a spinal cord injury, I’d probably say yes. But the brain injury question is different because the problem seems to stem from the game itself, so I’d say no, or would I?”

Considering the hundreds of thousands of young kids that play competitive football in the U.S., the chance of a permanent injury is still unlikely. But there are, of course, less dangerous sports out there. What’s a parent to do?

Would you let your child play football?

From Strollerderby.

  • shenais

    i would never allow my child to play football- even if it weren't a health risk, the violence involved makes me queasy. i know that basketball has a high risk for injury, but at least it's not a head trauma and it's not 'kill 'em!' sport.

  • karla

    No never, cause this a very aggressive sport and I don't want any of my child be in that position of be injure

  • Amie

    I would allow my child to play football, but only with the proper equipment and after discussing safety concerns with my child and the football coach.

  • j. austin

    Being protective is a mother’s nature. Being an alpha male, aggression is natural. I am one of those males, if you have one, then maybe this sport is for you
    I played only in HS and college no pop warner (my parents did not believe PW football) and I did not need it in pre-puberty
    I never got in bar fights, never arrested, or hit a woman, my agression was left on the FB field. Without football many aggresive alpha males (14 to 22 years old) find bad ways to spend their idle time before maturing enough to control their minds and bodies. As i mention 3 examples above, all are related to guys I grew up with who did not play football and got into trouble due to their uncontrolled aggression.

  • scott

    As someone who was forced to play sports as a kid simply because I was a boy and hated it, I am pretty much against this sort of false macho gaming. I would much rather my kids focus on their education and creativity than to focus on fitting into stereotypes and feeling like they must perform to get respect and must win to not be losers in all avenues. Not for my kids.

  • http://twitter.com/jliv29 @jliv29

    I think team sports are a good way for children to learn life lessons.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001705852137 P Elaine Livingston

    more children need to be in sports, have you looked outside at all the chubby children lately?

  • Kevin

    They definitely should be able to play football because it gets them in shape, and it toughens them up. Children who play football tend to be in good shape and are very tough.

  • Peter

    Well, for our part, we have a girl, so I'd be unlikely to let her play football. She does like some other sports and I think that playing a team sport is helpful, not just for physical activity, but also for learning to play well with others to accomplish a common goal. She's enjoyed that so far and we're not in any super-competitive leagues so we tend to avoid the whole "win, win, win" mentality. If I had a boy, I likely wouldn't encourage him towards football. There are a lot of options available and football just hasn't been one of my main sport choices.

  • Rena

    I would only if he really wanted to. I think that everything should be taken into perspective and we shouldnt be overly protective parents. I would talk to them about the safety risks beforehand.

  • Timbo

    Sure, if they want :) I wouldn't want mind to play football, though

  • Suzanne

    Absolutely. Nothing beats hitting your receiver with a strike on the numbers, taking down a receiver with a bone crushing hit, deflecting a pass, or having your shirt covered with grass stains. With the exception of my thumbs, I've broken every finger at least once as a result of playing football. And, I'm a female.

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