Football season is over, and little Johnny is already begging to attend the local summer football day-camp. Watching the NFL playoffs was a great bonding time between Johnny and his dad, and that enjoyment of football is a great connection. He’s only 10, and it seems harmless enough, right?
Recent research says otherwise. Neurological evaluation of even preteen kids who practice and play football reveals injury to developing brain tissue. The repetitive impact of tackling, even in practice, can create negative changes in a young brain. Coaches and football leagues are increasingly advertising gentler training and practice perspectives. But do these really play out, when our sons and daughters are watching the violent play of NFL teams each week?
Sad as it may be for football fans, the Radiological Society of North America reports that even one season football can negatively alter and disrupt health brain development. Perhaps it’s time for Johnny and Dad to find a different shared interest: science confirms that football is not a safe sport at any age, and particularly not for the young, developing brain.
By Terissa Michele Miller, MS Psy
Check out the original research: