WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- In Massachusetts, a bill disallowing kids below the 7th grade from playing tackle football has been introduced.
- Children below the age of 14 are reportedly more susceptible to lasting damage caused by head trauma.
- A former study that examined 111 brains of former NFL players discovered that 110 had CTE, a degenerative brain disease.
Head trauma can affect the development of a growing child in a big way. In Massachusetts, lawmakers proposed to ban kids younger than the seventh grade from playing tackle football. This is to reduce the risk of kids from suffering from traumatic head injuries. The NO HITS Act, the Act for No Organized Head Impacts to Schoolchildren, was launched last month to help with this effort.
Rep. Paul A. Schmid III (D) told the Herald News how other sports like soccer, lacrosse, and hockey have head contact restrictions. Football doesn’t. The new bill still allows children to play flag or touch football but will have up to $2,000 fines per violation. Stiffer fines will be implemented for repeat offenders.
A study in 2017 published in the Journal of the American Medical Association examined 111 different brains of former NFL players. Results showed that 110 of them had CTE or chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a degenerative brain disorder. Symptoms can include aggression, depression, impulse control problems, and paranoia.
According to the Concussion Legacy Foundation (CLF), this disease is linked to concussions and repeated head trauma, which makes it common in athletes and military veterans. CLF is a nonprofit organization that contributes to the study, treatment, and prevention of possible future instances of brain trauma among at-risk groups. They also advocate against kids under 14 playing tackle football.
Though some have been against previously proposed bans, stating that enough measures were taken to ensure safety, several former NFL players both directly and indirectly affected by CTE have said differently.
Harry Carson, a football great said that parents should be aware of what risk they’re putting their kids in. “Understand that your child could be subject to a neurological injury that could affect them for the rest of their lives.”
Source: Huff Post