By Sabrina Conza, Editor in Chief
The risk of concussion in sports, especially football, has become an issue of concern for students, parents and coaches alike.
For football fans like me, it is difficult to determine whether the sport is worth playing when the players’ health is at risk.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that between 1.6 million and 3.8 million concussions occur in sports and recreational activities throughout the country each year. However, concussions are not the only head injuries that can affect a player’s health.
According to Dr. Robert Stern, a professor of neurology and leader in the head injury field at Boston University, “In Pop Warner, a player can get 600-700 subconcussive hits per season. These subconcussive hits are usually not detected, so they’re not being treated. If you test the hits, they’re over 15 g in force. In high school, they are getting 800-1000 hits per season. College players get over 1500 of those hits in each season.”
As these hits are extremely dangerous in excess, and can even lead to death, football is a high-risk sport.
The movie “Concussion” was about the founding of the degenerative disease Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE). This disease can cause a person to hurt others or even himself.
Because of the negative effects of CTE, Stern said that “there should not be any youth tackle football until at least high school.”
I agree with Stern’s reasoning. The more subconcussive hits and concussions that a person gets, the higher the risk is for the player to get CTE. So, even if the player is five years old, these hits can affect him far into his future.
The risk of concussions and permanent brain damage due to sports like football is too high for me to feel comfortable with someone that I know and love playing such sports. So, it’s hard for me to say that it is okay for anyone to play football, though I love watching the game.