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Is High School Football Too Risky for Kids?

We want to know what you think, Tampa Bay!

With Super Bowl championships occupying the top three slots in most-watched telecasts in U.S. history, it seems football is as popular as ever.

Yet the sport is at the epicenter of a national debate on the long-term effects of concussions and whether tackling is safe for youngsters.

President Barack Obama recently threw his two cents in, saying if he had a son he would think twice before letting him get on the gridiron.

And Boston University researchers last year released a comprehensive study showing there is a link between permanent brain injury and repeated blows to the head, according to the Boston Globe.

Of concern to some is the prevalence of chronic traumatic encephalopathy in some older athletes. Often referred to as simply CTE, the condition causes symptoms similar to Alzheimer’s patients and has been blamed for the suicides of former gridiron greats.

What do you think? Do you allow your children to play football? At what age do you think it is considered safe to tackle? Tell us in the comments section below.

Carole February 16, 2013 at 02:39 PM
Football will never be outlawed, Donald! My son, who is now a grown man, played football from age of 10 to 18. With all the medical FACTS concerning concussions and CTE (which is a reality), I wish he had not started playing at such a young age. But he is a male, is very good at sports and wanted to play. I hope and pray that because of him playing all those years, that CTE does not some day rear its ugly head! Football will never be banned, but the age at which boys play tackle football should be raised.
Dorine Houston February 16, 2013 at 07:07 PM
It causes too many concussions and other serious injuries; it also actually kills players. Some of the deaths are caused by excessively aggressive coaches who demand excessively hard work and refuse water when the weather is too hot. This is what killed a friend of my brother's his junior year. Competition and overdoing in the heat or actual violence--which occurs in football--are not the same as clean. healthy competition.
Chuck R February 17, 2013 at 11:50 AM
Your child can start playing tackle football at age 5, but most play flag first. When these very young kids run into each other, it's not much of an impact to be honest. I'm not saying they never give each other a good hit because it happens occasionally. I never thought of it as dangerous, though. One important note; if the helmet is making the hit, the kid is doing it wrong, and the coach will say so. A high impact helmet to helmet hit is dangerous. I watched my oldest nephew play football from age 7 into high school. He had a concussion which resulted from an under inflated helmet used during a hard hit in practice. He also had a huge helmet-to-helmet hit during a game. The risk is real, but the benefits are many; confidence, competition, brotherhood, team play, and physical fitness, to name a few.
Donald H June 04, 2013 at 11:24 AM
Being in automobile accidents causes more deaths, so do motor-scooters/motor-cycles, skateboards, etc....all kill more kids than football.....! Kids cannot be wrapped & stored away to keep them safe. They must learn to cope with and to withstand adversity.
Palmetto Joe June 04, 2013 at 12:57 PM
This is another diabolical Plan by the "hipsters" to demoralize our males and make them into GLBTranngender's ..say NO to "Hipster" agendas!

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