Should Tackle Football be Banned for Kids Under 14?

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Jill Chadwick

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Cell: (913) 223-3974


Concussions in youth sports, especially youth football, is a pretty hot topic right now. Some organizations are pushing to not allow contact football...only flag football...for kids under 14. This public service announcement from the Concussion Legacy Foundation makes a provocative comparison between young kids playing tackle football and young kids who take up smoking. They say the younger that kids are when they start contact football or smoking the longer they'll be "exposed to danger."

In the video, Dr. Michael Rippee, a sports neurologist with The University of Kansas Health System, weighs in on the subject. he says he understands that the PSA was designed for shock value, but thinks it may be an overstatement to compare early football playing risks to early smoking risk. he does say it's part of the overall trend among youth leagues, coaches and doctors to err on the side of caution anytime a concussion in a young athlete is suspected. More and more of them are becoming aware of concussion symptoms and are beginning to embrace the idea of keeping an athlete with a suspected concussion off the field for 10-14 days. Dr. Rippee says the overall message should be taken from the PSA is we want to limit exposure. If that means they play flag football for a couple of years before they tackle, that's not a bad thing.

The video also has b-roll of youth football players in action.