If Your Kid Plays Football, You Need To Know This Alarming Fact

Growing up, your parents probably wanted you to become heavily involved in at least one extra-curricular activity.

While some parents took their kiddos to weekly dance classes, others wanted their children to pursue other outlets. Most kids typically settled on playing a team sport. And for as long as I can remember, no sport drew out the masses at my high school quite like football.

I can remember that almost every Friday night was spent walking the track at my high school football stadium cheering on the home team. It’s amazing how communities can come together at sporting events. And while these sports can be fun for kids and teach them essential life skills, there is also a much darker side to football. The risk of severe injury is real, and new studies show that brain damage is common in many young athletes.

A new study by RSNA Radiology found measurable brain damage in children who played football, but did not report concussions.Twenty-five children between the ages of eight and 13 participated as part of the study.

Researchers found a correlation between cranial impact and the flow of water between white matter tracts. White matter is responsible for helping lobes of the brain communicate.


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One major brain abnormality commonly diagnosed in football players is Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE). Essentially, this is brain damage that operates on a cellular level.

Symptoms of CTE include depression, memory loss, severe suicidal thoughts, loss of intelligence, and dementia. The condition has also been linked to drug and alcohol abuse later in life.

Researchers have found that kids who play high-contact sports such as football are at a greater risk of developing CTE.

The human brain continues to develop up to the age of 25. Major injuries before that point can leave lasting effects.

A minor does not have the right of consent and often times does not acknowledge the risks associated with playing sports.

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Although it is, of course, up to parents and kids to decide whether the risk is worth the reward, it could be useful to look into CTE to see if your child is at risk.

(via ABC News and New York Times )

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