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Tackling the Problem of Tackling in Youth Football: What Do Parents Think?

By Lewis First, MD, MS, AAP News and Journals Gateway, 04/08/19, 12:00PM CDT

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So, given that most parents are supportive of age restrictions, should those youth football set up age restrictions for tackling?

Nowadays, one cannot watch a contact sport like tackle football and not think about the risk of concussions, and if you are a parent of a child or preteen, let alone a high school student playing football, those thoughts may be even more formidable. Should youth be allowed to play tackle football knowing that the more direct contact, the more opportunities for concussions to occur?

Rather than assume we know what parents think about their children playing tackle football, Chrisman et al. (10.1542/peds.2018-2402) decided to collect data on this issue by surveying 1025 parents from across the country in regard to whether there should be age restrictions for tackling in youth football. The authors at the same time also asked parents what they thought the risk of concussion might be if children did participate in the sport.