One in four households say "no" to youth football, poll finds
One in four American households with children will not let their kids play football due to concerns over concussions, according to a Truven Health Analytics-NPR Health Poll.
The survey asked respondents to share their views on sports-related head injuries. The results found that 25 percent of households with children won't let their kids play football.
Thirty four percent said they would keep their kids from playing hockey, while only three and four percent said they would stop their kids from playing basketball and soccer respectively.
Additionally, 40 percent of respondents say an improvement is needed in equipment if football is going to continue to be offered as a high school sport, a rate that tended to increase with increasing age and level of income of the respondents.
Seven percent of respondents said the risks associated with football are too great and the sport should no longer be sanctioned as a high school activity. One in 10 said they are unaware of risks associated with concussions.
"Awareness of the long-term risks of head injury is still fairly low," said Dr. Michael Taylor, chief medical officer at Truven Health Analytics. "We know repeated minor concussions can lead to chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), but we don't understand exactly how much trauma can lead to CTE. Minor head injury is a risk in many contact sports, particularly football, hockey, and boxing, and more research on head protection is needed."
Meanwhile, few Americans have let their concussion concerns affect their professional football viewing habits. Seventy two percent said the risk of concussions has not changed how often they watch professional football.
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