PediatricPediatric worries about concussions and football

Another football season has begun, and (of particular concern when it comes to pediatrics) that means boys are developing a renewed interest in football. This happens every year, but recently some parents are becoming concerned about possible risks to the health of their sons from playing football — risks that are too deeply ingrained in the nature of the sort to be warded off with a few precautions. That said, football is still very much an American tradition that many families remain loyal to.

The primary risk is from concussion as a result of a collision, which is especially common if the game in question is tackle football rather than touch football. It might seem that the helmet should protect against this, but what causes concussion is the inertia of the collision making the brain shake inside the skull. There is only so much that a helmet will do to prevent this.

Ultimately, it is for the family to decide whether a son who wishes to participate in football should be allowed to do so. Football is not the only sport that carries a risk of concussion — hockey and lacrosse, for example, also involve such a risk. Other sports are even worse from the point of view of pediatrics. The American Academy of Pediatricians, which has yet to take a position against boys playing football, came out against boxing in 2011.

Talk to the coach

The American Academy of Pediatrics does recommend that rules in football be strictly enforced. Make sure your coach is willing to do this, and also knows the symptoms of concussion as well as other health risks such as heat stroke.

The aches and pains that come with getting in shape can be played through, but concussion is something else entirely. According to pediatrics, any child who undergoes a concussion must be removed from play, and should not be allowed back onto the field until a full recovery has happened. In most cases, recovery will happen in a few days, or at most a few weeks. It should, however, involve not only physical rest, but mental rest — not too much effort spent in thinking. This may be a problem if your son has exams coming up.

A pediatrics clinic in Gastonia, NC

Gastonia Pediatric Associates is a pediatric clinic in a convenient location within the Charlotte area. It is one of the first medical practices for children in this area, and is owned and directed by its own physicians. It offers medical advice for parents 24 hours a day, and has provided personalized service to three generations of families. Its staff includes three physicians and three nursing staff. If you need a pediatrics clinic, contact Gastonia Pediatrics today.