Football and pediatric practice

Pediatric practice in Gastonia, NC

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Kids have started following football again this year, and your pediatric practice reminds you of the risk of concussion. A helmet reduces the risk of this, but doesn’t eliminate it — whenever a football player’s head is involved in a collision on the field, the inertia makes the brain shake inside the skull. As long as children play football, and especially if they play tackle football, there is some risk of concussion.

Multiple concussions can add up to long-term damage. The symptoms of post-concussion syndrome are similar to those of concussion, but last longer. They include dizziness, exhaustion, headaches, difficulty thinking and, understandably, irritability.

You need to decide for yourself if you want to let your son take part in football. It’s not the only dangerous sport. Children who play hockey and lacrosse are also exposed to a risk of concussion. You definitely shouldn’t let your son take part in boxing. This is also the opinion of the American Academy of Pediatricians, which hasn’t taken a position against boys playing football (although they say “removing tackling from football altogether would likely lead to a decrease in the incidence of overall injuries, severe injuries, catastrophic injuries, and concussions”) but came out against boxing in 2011.

Football needs watching

When children are playing football, it is essential that the rules be strictly enforced, especially those meant to protect them. This is yet another reason to attend your son’s football games, in order to be sure the team is taking no unnecessary risks in the hope of winning.

Part of getting in shape is learning to endure pain and keep moving in spite of it, but some pains shouldn’t be played through. The aftereffects of concussion are an example of this. Pediatric experts agree that if a boy playing football suffers a concussion, he needs to be removed from the game, and shouldn’t be allowed back onto the field until he’s fully recovered. This should happen in a few days, or at most a few weeks. The key is making sure your son rests mentally as well as physically, without doing a lot of reading, thinking or problem-solving. If exams are coming, see if the teachers will let your son take them next week.

A pediatric practice in Gastonia, NC

Gastonia Pediatric Associates is a pediatric practice 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 pediatric practice, contact Gastonia Pediatrics today.