Concussion Discussion: Are Kids' Sports Too Dangerous?
My kids don't play hockey in fact, they can hardly skate, so the whole concussion discussion goes on around me without me having a stake in it. But I do hear the fear in moms' voices when they talk of their kids (especially their boys) getting older. The risks they take and are encouraged to take on the ice is scary.
And they wonder if it is worth it.
Thanks to Sidney Crosby the issues around head injuries are finally being taken seriously by the media, the public and, hopefully, the NHL. Of course, hockey isn't the only culprit - all contact sports carry a risk to kids' (and adults') brains.
This article weighing the risks of contact sports is very interesting and does give some clear advice on concussion diagnosis and treatment. ThinkFirst is also a great resource. But no matter what the risks, kids will play hockey, football, skateboard and ski (and most of them with their parents' encouragement).
Our non-hockey family skis, and we all wear helmets - even on the baby hill and I and I can tell you that I have the helmet hair to prove it every day at lunch. My kids wear those goofy helmet covers from TailWags and every person on the hill knows my daughter as Princess. Karyn Climans started Tail Wags as a way to make helmet wearing more enticing to kids (and adults). A helmet saved her skull from a bad ski accident, so helmet wearing is a personal crusade for her.
Unfortunately, helmets aren't saving the brains of hockey stars, or maybe even the kids in the rougher hockey leagues. And yet kids still play and parents are still clamouring for checking while others are getting increasingly worried. At what point does it get to be too much?
I find it hard to believe that a hockey game is worth damaging your most important organ, but what I do know? My kids don't play.
Do your kids play contact sports? Do you worry about their health? Do think things are getting better or worse?
Want more chaos? Last year, I wrote about homework and how the New York Times recommended doing everything differently.