Claiming Ignorance No Longer Allowed for Parents says Doctor

Thanks to the good – and tireless – work of Matt Chaney I get sent plenty of emails about the happenings on the concussion front from a media perspective (stories and whatnot).  A lot of them have vast information, but for a while I thought they were all reaches and looking to “grab the headline” to get readers.  Sure, there have been plenty I have posted on here, but what is becoming concerning is the amount of pubs I get, not only from Chaney, but others that are starting to tell the story of major issues.

We all know and should have known that concussions were going to be a concern for all sports, but the tide is shifting against the most popular sport we have in ‘Merica.  It is a fundamental problem we must wrap our collective heads around if we want to enjoy football and all sports for that matter.

One such article that caught my attention is centered around parents no longer having the ability to be naive about the sports we and our kids play.  With all the information out there parents no longer have the ability to claim ignorance about concussions;

Dr. Joseph Ciacci loves football, but he fears it. He can’t get enough of the game he prevents his son from playing.

He is in the business of repairing brains. He has seen too much to maintain neutrality.

“The more you know about the issue, the more you think about the issue, the less inclined you are to take a chance,” the UCSD neurosurgeon said. “Because you can’t claim ignorance.”

It’s one thing, Ciacci says, to enter a mine field inadvertently, but quite another to do so when you recognize the risks. Ciacci has had an intimate understanding of those risks since 1977, when his own football career ended with a severe spine injury sustained while covering a high school kickoff.

Amid an avalanche of disturbing new data and harrowing case histories, Ciacci is trying to steer his older son toward water polo.

When you read the above article note how Tim Sullivan did excellent work by interviewing the family in 2011 and 2012 about the same subject.  Although this story is from May, it gives good perspective about the thoughts many of us are dealing with.

No Collision Sports For Kids Under 14

On this blog we have been presenting information that has led to me and others saying that intentional contact to the head of adolescents is not good for long-term health.  What has not happened until recently is a “big name” in the research/medical world suggest that collision sports are inherently dangerous enough to warrant us to re-think our practices.

At the end of August the American Academy of Pediatrics announced that kids should not be boxing for the risk associated with concussions (number one injury in boxing).  That was quickly shunned by the boxing world and even the prominent Dr. Robert Cantu said there could be a social impact that should be realized.  Dr. Cantu stopped short of admonishing the decision as well as supporting the decision (in the related article).  However, the announcement was not unexpected if you have been paying attention, more as more problems are being found with brain injury.

I have clearly stated that I will have no problem with my children playing collision sports, only when they are older and in high school.  I want nothing more than for my sons to play football (if they choose), but at what risk?  Sure “back in the day” kids were getting their “clocks cleaned”, then subsequently grabbing some “smelling salts” and returning to the game, heck I was one of those.  As they and me have aged things have changed, not just in research, Continue reading