Risks of Youth Playing Football

Children under twelve may be at higher risk than older children when it comes to playing football. Later in life, these young players may encounter health issues. Doctor Robert Stern of the University of Boston conducted a research into the issues.

Behavioral Problems

When playing football, the ball makes an impact with various body parts. These include the head, back, and chest.at age 9-12, brain development in boys is still taking place. Repeated head impacts increase the chances of depression and apathy later in life.

Changes in the White Part of the Brain

Every time the head gets hit, it moves and the brain stretches. An average 12-year-old gets 250 hits each season. This causes a change in the white matter of the brain. This is the part which coordinates communication between the different brain parts.

Interruption of the Cognitive Growth Process

The brain has a potential that is genetically-endowed. Repeated hits prevent the brain from attaining this potential. Brain trauma will thus affect your cognition and mood swings later.

Temporary Effect on Intelligence

While playing a contact sport like football, concussions can occur. Brain disorientation will occur. The time needed to recover will depend on how severe the injury was. It affects the ability of the brain to learn new pieces of information. This effect is short term. Since intelligence is a stable trait, it will not change after the injury heals.

Chronic Traumatic Encephalophagy

Doctors can only diagnose this disease after you die. It is because of blows. Not everyone that has experienced head blows can suffer from this disease. Other factors e.g. age during exposure come in handy.

Although tackle football is a fascinating sport, it has its risks. Doctor Stern concludes his study by urging parents to let their children enter the game at a later age. He also reminds them not to think their children will be much safer after 12.


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