Protecting Kids from Concussions

Monday, October 15, 2012

A young football player adjusts his helmet before a game in a scene from Steve James’ “Head Games” (Courtesy Variance Films)

Dr. Robert Cantu, chief of neurosurgery and director of the Service of Sports Medicine at Emerson Hospital in Concord, MA and the co-author of Concussions and Our Kids: America's Leading Expert on How to Protect Young Athletes and Keep Sports Safe.


Dr. Robert Cantu

Comments [7]

Shawn from Bergen County NJ

I also think the main point of these contact sports injuries has been missed. The main threat is not the concussion. It's not the one big shot to the head that knocks a player out of a game or practice. It is without any question in my mind the chronic, repetitive trauma to our young children's brains that, over periods of years and years, becomes a cumulative injury that is not fixable. The fact is that we are seeing more and more players from 30 years ago who are presenting with early onset dementia and brain injury. These problems are the direct results of years of micro-traumas to their head/brain. And it doesn't show up until they are 50 years old and presenting with very early Alzheimer's or dementia.

This is truly a "death of a thousand cuts". Please be careful out there.

Oct. 15 2012 11:06 AM
Shawn from Bergen County NJ

I commented back in May 2012 about this, and Brian took my call online. I still remember the guest saying that it was crazy to consider limiting these sports. Yet here we are, 6 months later talking more and more about the dangers of these contact sports in our children.

I will say it again, as an orthopaedic surgeon I unfortunately see the injuries associated with football every single day. And I guarantee that 10 years from now we will look back on these sports with regret. New data every single week come out supporting limitations on hits due to head injuries. The game is much different today than it was 30 years ago. My old high school's offensive line (in Cincinnati OH) this year had 4 kids over 300lbs. I bet that is bigger than the college line that most current adults played against. The sport has grown, the injuries have grown, and the technology to protect these kids has not grown.

Oct. 15 2012 11:01 AM

Just last month there was a story online about a Pee Wee football coach who was offering financial bounties to his young players to injure star players of opposing teams.

Oct. 15 2012 10:56 AM

It will take time but football as we know it will eventually be either completely changed or banned outright. This is from a Jets fan, btw.

Oct. 15 2012 10:56 AM

I’ve watched Australian football. Without pads it’s not as violent yet it’s a much more interesting sport

Oct. 15 2012 10:55 AM
Theresa from shelton, CT

My child played flag football for four years in Shelton, Connecticut.

Now that he is on the freshman team in HS he is a bench warmer. They are only playing the former pop warner tackle football kids. It is so frustrating to see my 14 year old boy go from loving football to being very discouraged from ever playing again.

Gee, I wonder if any of those Freshman football players have a million dollar contract already??/

Oct. 15 2012 10:55 AM
Orla from NYC

If you got concussions earlier in life, is there anything you can do in adulthood to monitor/avert potential problems? I got three, mild concussions in my late teens/early adulthood.

Oct. 15 2012 10:53 AM

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