Sports Medicine physician Dr. Pietro Tonino of Loyola University Medical Center advises parents of high school athletes not to allow their children to play football because of the high risk of injuries they may sustain.
Not allowing children to play contact/collision sports due to concussion is alarmist and unwarranted – rather focus on the correct management of the injury once it happens.
While collision/contact sports such as American Football and rugby are associated with a risk of concussion, there is presently insufficient evidence to deny anyone access to these sports.
Yes, there are thousands of Football-related concussions per year, but how many hundreds of thousands of children participate in Football every year? And is Football more dangerous than driving your children in your car? These are questions that need to be considered for perspective.
This being said, once a child has incurred a sport-related concussion. he/she should be removed from the game immediately. Thereafter, the parents need to be actively involved in process of managing the child to full recovery before returning to play.
The child who is not being provided this optimal managment should not be allowed to play Football or rugby – let the majority, who are managed adequately, continue having fun!
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