"" The Exhausted Mom: Pay It Forward Friday ~ Is Football Becoming Safer?

April 11, 2013

Pay It Forward Friday ~ Is Football Becoming Safer?

John O'Connor is a full time husband and father, part time outdoorsman and a new blogger.  He has an extreme passion for healthy aging and living a healthy lifestyle. 

Check him out at Blogging With John O.


Only a few years ago, very few people paid attention to the
long-term effects of playing football. A series of high-profile reports, however, has changed this, and many people are now beginning to see how dangerous football can be if safety procedures are not enforced. Fortunately, football has become considerably safer in recent years, and parents should rest assured that efforts are underway to make the sport even safer.  Over the past couple of years, the NFL has been implementing and changing many rules to help make the game not only safe for professionals but also for teenagers who play in high school/college and young children who are playing recreationally in pop warner leagues.   As parents it is our job to make sure that our children are safe at all times.  Here are some injuries that are not just common in football but in many other contact sports as well. 


Concussions have received more attention in the past few years than any other type of sports injury, and new studies have shown that multiple concussions can lead to lifelong problems.  In the past, concussions were not taken as seriously as they are today.  Many athletes who suffered from concussions sometimes did not even come out of the game they were playing in.  Other times they would be diagnosed with a concussion and end up returning to play too early before they were properly healed.  

Common symptoms of a concussion may be a headache, nausea, confusion or dizziness.  More serious concussions may result in permanent memory loss or even hearing loss.  If hearing loss occurs and is serious enough, hearing aids may be used to help increase hearing levels.  Fortunately, there are now some ways to mitigate the damage done by concussions and help to try and eliminate situations that result in severe hearing loss. The following guidelines should be implemented not only my parents but by coaches and athletic trainers as well:

-If a concussion has been suffered, the player should seek immediate assistance and be checked out by a primary care doctor.
- A injured player should not return until symptoms have completely resolved for at least five days.

- Protective headgear must be worn at all times in all sports.

-Not only should head gear be worn, but it should be worn properly.
- Proper hitting technique in football and other sports can help protect against concussions and other head related injuries


Knee Damage

Knee damage is also very common in all sports, and many athletes will suffer at least minor knee sprains along the way. While it can be difficult to prevent all knee injuries, responding properly to knee injuries can lead to better outcomes down the road. A popular injury to the knee is the ACL tear.  The ligaments around the knee, especially the ACL help in supporting the knee when running, jumping, rotating and landing.  When torn it makes participation in sports very difficult. 

Again, strict guidelines should be implemented, and parents should be educated on how they can help their children prevent ligament tears and the signs they should be looking for if their child may be suffering from a torn ACL:

-To help prevent ACL tears, specific balance and strength exercises can be done to strengthen the muscles of the leg and around the knee.

-Children should only participate in strength and conditioning programs if they are old enough and have been cleared by their doctor.  

-Athletes should perform necessary warm-ups to keep muscles loose throughout practice and games.  

- A doctor should be contacted if there is any question about a knee injury. Many severe knee injuries begin as minor injuries and worsen over time because they are not checked out.


Heat-Related Injuries

Two very common injuries that can occur from playing sports especially in the summer months of the year are dehydration and heat strokes.  There are many things that we as parents can do to help prevent dehydration and heat stroke from happening to our children:

-  -Always wear sunscreen.

-  -Hydration is a must.

-  -Not only should our children be drinking plenty of water during games and practices, but they should also be gradually drinking water during the day leading up to the game or practice.  

-  -Children should wear lightweight clothing that allows the body to breathe and sweat properly.  Along with lighter shaded clothing that does not attract the sun.

-  -Practice and games should be played during the hours of the day that aren’t the hottest.  Morning practices and late evening games would be the best bet.

Sports are great way to teach kids valuable skills and proper exercise, but there are some risks involved in all sports. By following safety guidelines and ensuring that kids and parents are doing all that is possible to try and prevent against injuries, sports can be enjoyable for all who are involved. 


If you would like to be a part of my Pay It Foward Friday segment, please email me.


1 comment:

  1. great tips for parents with kids in sports..esp football. you hear such scary things lately about the longterm affects of such sports injuries, its nice to see that they are cracking down on the rules and keeping it safe for kids to enjoy these contact sports! looking forward to reading more from John O!


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