We’ve warned parents about the risks and dangers of their children playing school sports before — especially the risks of traumatic brain injury and concussion from playing football. School officials and coaches, as well as teachers and parents, need to be aware that kids playing high school sports tend to avoid reporting feeling hurt and will deny pain or discomfort in order to stay at practice or in the game.
Things got more serious this week. High school football players’ brains are changing with each hit.
A new study reveals that these kids, high school football players, are at risk of brain injuries during just ONE season of playing football on their school team — even without any serious TBI or concussion, these young brains are still susceptible to injury from the repeated impacts to their heads. Helmets do not prevent this.
The study took one school team, a varsity football team, and measured their brain health via MRI brain scans both at the start of the 2012 football season and again at the end of football season.
During that football season, each high school football player’s helmet had a special gizmo that tracked their activity, especially the amount of force coming into contact with the head.
Those helmet gizmos tracked what was happening to each player at all their practices and at all their games.
We don’t know everything that this research provides us yet — but we already know that the gizmos recorded CHANGES to the kids’ brains, specifically the “white matter” of the brain. The more hits the child experienced as recorded by his football helmet, the more that this white matter was altered. The white matter of the brain controls nerve signaling for the body, among other things.
The research is being shared with the American Association of Neurological Surgeons and it’s raising “new concerns” among the medical community.
What did the study’s spokesman have to say when asked about his kids? He’s not going to let them play football.
For more information:
CDC Video “Know Your Concussion ABCs: Kurt Warner’s Tips for Parents”: