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Football - Is it Too Dangerous?

Updated on May 15, 2015

Youth football players take the field

My son #33 and the Rest of his Youth football teammates take the field for a game.
My son #33 and the Rest of his Youth football teammates take the field for a game.

Is Tackle Football Safe?

Is tackle football safe? I recently heard that a local male principal in my community said that he would not allow a local youth football organization to hand out flyers at his elementary school. Supposedly he said that he believed that it was too dangerous and would not allow his own children to participate so he would not want any of the kids at his school to participate either. It seems to me that he should let the parents decide for themselves on this matter.

My own son's experience

My own son is now 12 years old at the time of writing this article. We allowed him to play football beginning when he was seven years old. He is now a starting member on both offense and defense for his junior high school’s team which I work at and help coach. It was a struggle a bit for him at first when he first tried football but he hung in there and before long he got the hand of it and ended up being one of his teams stronger and more dominant players. Of course, it helped him that he was and is still a big strong kid and tall like me. He’s generally one of the bigger and stronger kids in his age group. The toughness of the sport of football I believe has helped him in becoming a fine all around young man. His grades by the way are excellent. Okay, that’s enough bragging about my son.

Proper tackling safety techniques

Life Lessons Learned

Things that he has learned are team work and working hard together with his team. He has made many new friends that he would have never met had he not participated on these teams when he was younger. His mother, sister and I have also met and made many new friends. He has learned how to be tough and to not quit when things get difficult. Participation in youth football for my son has been a rewarding experience for both him and his parents. His sister was able to also participate in cheer leading with the girls involved in this same organization. She really enjoyed this cheer leading experience and also made many friends. In fact, to this day the family that we are the closest friends with in our community is people that we met through our local youth football and cheer organization.

Is it Tackle Football Worth the Risks?

My son had several bumps and bruises during football but nothing serious to him thank goodness. I fully realize that more serious accidents can happen. I witnessed a smaller boy get his leg rolled on and broken. I know that even worse injuries can occur. This is where proper coaching comes into play to inform boys of the proper techniques of keeping your head up when you go to make a tackle to avoid spinal injury. Parents are required to sign a waiver stating they realize the risks associated with participating in this contact sport.

I’ve also personally seen kids get seriously hurt playing basketball, baseball, and skateboarding. Are parents to put their kids in a plastic bubble to prevent them from ever getting hurt? Is it worth risking a broken bone to play tackle football? More than likely, if the parents have participated in sports in their own lives then they may be more inclined to let their son play football. Now, it’s definitely not right for every kid. It is violent and there is lots of contact. I guess ultimately parents will have to determine whether the rewards outweigh the risks. I can honestly say that up to this point, playing football for my child has worked out well and been a rewarding experience for him.

High school football safety

Scoring First Freshman Touchdown

Pictured here my son has grown quite a bit since youth football days. Here he scores a touchdown early in the season in a freshman game.
Pictured here my son has grown quite a bit since youth football days. Here he scores a touchdown early in the season in a freshman game.

Concussions are a big concern

I am currently serving as an assisstant football coach at the middle school where I am a teacher in large part because my son is a member of the team. One of the things I have been required to do to serve in this capacity is to take an online course that deals with head injuries or concussions and how to recognize when an athlete may have received one. After viewing these videos online for this course I was required to answer some questions. After I did all that I got a certificate showing that I had completed the necessary training. Also, there is a form that we were required to have all players and their parent to sign that tells briefly what to look for and how to deal with possible signs of a concussion. Head injuries and dealing properly with concussions have been a big focus for safety in football at all levels.

Youth Football Poll

Would you let your son play tackle football as a youth?

See results


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