Dec 8, 2016
To Play or Not

Among high school student-athletes, football players have the highest risk of concussion. The question of whether the sport should be continued has been highlighted in a recent commentary published by Pediatrics.

In the commentary, three physicians discuss a hypothetical scenario regarding canceling a football program. Although research has shown risks for chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) relating to concussion, the risk for high school football players is not yet known.

“It has been found in a hundred or so deceased athletes when the sample size of former athletes is in the millions,” Dr. Greg Canty, medical director for the Center for Sports Medicine at the Children’s Mercy Hosptial in Kansas City, said in the commentary, as reported by ABC News Today. “Who is going to be responsible for defining ‘safe play?’”


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One physician’s suggestion centers on changing social norms surrounding the sport. Canty also believes communities can look at ways of making the sport safer.

“I encourage pediatricians to look for ways to make all sports safer for our patients,” Canty said in the commentary. “Start by demanding certified athletic trainers at all sporting events. Be a resource for educating your community on sporting topics.” 

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