Reply Sun 12 Jul, 2009 10:16 am
Is pee wee football more dangers/less dangerous/same danger as other children's sports?

Mo is wanting to play and Mr. B is cool with it. Me? Not so cool with it.

It seems like I've read a lot about serious injuries (brain, spinal cord) from football but my googling hasn't really turned up much evidence.

I found this:

Quote:
....in an observational study of 1,659 children aged 7 to 13, Dr. Scott M. Lephart of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center for Sports Medicine found the rate of injury in football to be 4 to 7 times higher than than the risk seen in other sports. 'Children are getting injured in youth sport participation, especially youth football, [and] the injuries and severity are often unrecognized and thus may be mismanaged



but the link to the observational study doesn't work and the replies seem to mostly refute the danger of youth football (http://www.plastic.com/article.html;sid=02/09/10/03355054)

The article in the Parade section of today's paper makes me want to put my foot down with a solid "NO" but I'm wondering if my fears are realistic.

Anyone have experience with pee wee football or data about injuries?

Thanks!
 
Rockhead
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 Jul, 2009 10:34 am
@boomerang,
i think it would be good for Mo.

(in my limited experience, most of the more serious injuries are in the high school and above age groups, once size and speed get elevated)
0 Replies
 
Robert Gentel
 
  2  
Reply Sun 12 Jul, 2009 10:53 am
@boomerang,
boomerang wrote:
Is pee wee football more dangers/less dangerous/same danger as other children's sports?


http://www.safekidssonomacounty.org/pdf/fact_sheets/sports_facts.pdf
http://www.healthsystem.virginia.edu/uvahealth/peds_orthopaedics/stats.cfm
http://search.wisconsinmedicalsociety.org/_WMS/publications/wmj/issues/wmj_v104n1/104no1_Britton.pdf (has a table of injury statistics across some youth sports)
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8214828 (this is a hand injury study that says Football is the biggest sports culprit)

http://archpedi.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/abstract/146/6/741 (this one has an excerpt in Google Scholar search results that says football had the most catastrophic injuries but per 100,000 participants was less than hockey or gymnastics, you can read the excepts for this part by going to Google Scholar and inputting this query: "contributed the most catastrophic injuries. However, football had fewer castastrophic
injuries per 100 000 participants than did ice" and then using different queries from the excerpt on the search result to read the whole sentence)

My searches seemed to confirm that it's one of the more dangerous sports, which I found unsurprising, but it wasn't as dangerous as I had expected it to be.
realjohnboy
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 Jul, 2009 11:11 am
Is Pee Wee touch or tackle? What age group? I would agree-I think-that the greater risk is in HS where kids get bigger and stronger at different rates.
0 Replies
 
dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 Jul, 2009 11:14 am
I would think (no facts) that skate-boarding would be far more dangerous.
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 Jul, 2009 11:14 am
@Robert Gentel,
Wow! Thanks, Robert.

I'm still reading but those first two links helped put things in perspective. I would never have thought baseball and bicycling were more dangerous than football.

Mo is a natural and able athlete. I don't want my fears standing in the way of him trying things. I guess I'm going to have to rethink my position on football.
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 Jul, 2009 11:27 am
@boomerang,
To add anecdotal evidence to Robert's links, we know a bunch of boys who play football and injuries haven't been an issue for any of 'em (yet). HOWEVER, two hazards unrelated to injuries per se have been dehydration (exertion + lots of gear + hot weather -- nothing really bad has happened but it's something the parents/ coaches have had to stay on top of) and sideline aggression. The whole football ethos seems to get them more hyped-up than usual, and there have been fistfights and stuff.
0 Replies
 
mismi
 
  2  
Reply Sun 12 Jul, 2009 12:51 pm
@boomerang,
I havn't had time to read through all of the replies. My son's orthopedic surgeon (he had club feet at birth and three surgeries and continues to be seen by his surgeon for bone issues) has said that football is horrible. His request: no football until after 13 and no trampolines period. Not just for my boy but for any child.

Growth plates are still apparently not matured until 13 and injury to them can cause problems in normal growth to the bone. At least that is what he told us.

It was underlined for me last year when the boys best friend played peewee and first time out broke his foot and ended up on the bench pretty much the rest of the season. We choose not to let them play yet. Though - it certainly doesn't mean you're a bad parent if you decide to let them play. We would just rather err on the side of caution.

We play NFL Flag football in the fall - boys seem to like it.

0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 Jul, 2009 03:26 pm
Hmmmmm.... interesting, mismi.

I'm wondering about the impact of cumulative injuries. I think sozobe might have posted something about cumulative injuries in girl's soccer. I'll have to go look for that.

If you get hurt roller skating or skate boarding or on a bike it isn't something that happens over and over and over again. In football you get hit over and over and over again. It seems like that would all add up -- all that banging your brain around inside your skull can't be good.

I don't know......

ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 Jul, 2009 03:44 pm
@boomerang,
Concussions are a cumulative problem in football, and I suppose in some other sports, and there has been much written about state of the art helmets, or what is not so good about the state of the art. I have no idea about statistics and peewee football, but what Rockhead said made sense re injuries getting more serious with weight and speed in older kids.

I remember that talk about injuries in that thread too, boomer, and also remember that at least in a few places there is new emphasis on some exercizes to ward some of the injuries off. I that was mostly about knees.. and mostly about older children and adults, re the problems involved in knee weakness for even the seemingly strongest people. (I can see paying attention to the age 13 and bone plate thing).

I liked watching football in grammar school - our team was competitive in the chicago elementary school catholic league, whatever they called it. Those guys are all a half century older now, if they're still, eh, kicking. Wonder how their knees and brains held up..

0 Replies
 
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 Jul, 2009 04:02 pm

Thomas Jefferson was of the opinion that ball games were too ruff and dangerous.
There survives a letter from him to his 12 year old nephew, wherein he counsels the boy
to avoid ball games in favor of gunnery practice. He believed that it builds character.

He advised his nephew always to take his gun with him when he went out for a walk.

Good luck with that





David
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 Jul, 2009 05:58 pm
@boomerang,
Yep, I thought of that thread too! Found it back:

http://able2know.org/topic/116382-1
0 Replies
 
Gargamel
 
  1  
Reply Mon 13 Jul, 2009 10:07 am
Hmmmm. Tapping my memory, I can't imagine organized football with pads to be any more dangerous than what transpires on the playground.

I remember loving the following "recreational" recess activities:

1. King of the Mountain--find a huge snowbank or pile of woodchips, stand on it, declare yourself king, and throw from the mountain anyone who tries to dethrone you. Really, just a bunch of kids bumrushing each other on a pile of something.

2. Kill the Carrier (formerly Kill the Queer)--tackle the **** out of whomever has the ball until they drop it or throw it to someone else.

3. Fighting

4. Tackle Football--occasionally occurred on the blacktop though this always resulted in an automatic mass detention for all involved. I played tackle football on a grassy boulevard every day after school in the 5th grade. And look how I turned out! Mildly brain damaged.

Hypothesis: kids do dangerous **** all the time. Pads and parental supervision is really a best case scenario.
ehBeth
 
  2  
Reply Mon 13 Jul, 2009 10:10 am
@Robert Gentel,
http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Sports_Injuries/child_sports_injuries.asp
0 Replies
 
mismi
 
  1  
Reply Mon 13 Jul, 2009 10:55 am
@Gargamel,
Quote:
Hypothesis: kids do dangerous **** all the time. Pads and parental supervision is really a best case scenario.


It's true - they do. But in football your chances are greater because of the constant hitting. And if you have been around dads of peewee football players - they encourage to hit hard. Surely not all of them. But many of the ones I have watched have anyway. Just part of the game.

Seems to me the chances of being hurt are much greater here. The little boy's mom that broke his foot said he always has scrapes and bruises, and always complains about something hurting - but his dad wants him to play, and he seems to enjoy it enough to keep on trying.

I wonder if there was a bad enough injury that you would be sorry for continuing on though. It's the same with any sport really. In baseball that ball can really hurt, and do some damage in many cases. So you are taking your chances in any sport you play, whether it is considered a contact sport or not.
0 Replies
 
gungasnake
 
  1  
Reply Mon 13 Jul, 2009 11:12 am
@boomerang,
There are two or three American sports which make sense economically and also from a point of risk analysis; American football is not one of them. With the NFL in particular audiences are paying to watch violence and guys who play the game start dying of old age around 45 or 50.

Golf, tennis, baseball, basketball, or even ice hockey in which the armor is basically adequate, are believable, football isn't.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q-I4h0s2jnU
0 Replies
 
davecisar
 
  1  
Reply Thu 16 Jul, 2009 05:46 am
Are all of you serious?

Maybe kids should just stay inside in padded cells all day long.

Let kids be kids, bumps and bruises are part of life for crying out loud.
Playing youth football is fun, it helps build character and team work and coaching if for 17 years, weve only had 2 broken bones. PS those kids survived.

Parents job is to love our kids but prepare them for when they are on their own. Not make them into dependent little whimps.

Hockey has more padding than football?
Youve obviously not played either, that is 100% wrong
Hockey less expensive than football?
Ive had kids play both, Hockey is 4 to 10X more expensive because the equipment is more and you have to rent ice time.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 16 Jul, 2009 12:52 pm
There's an article today about the relative impacts of high school and college football tackles here -

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/07/16/the-risk-of-high-school-football-tackles/?hp

0 Replies
 
CoachTom
 
  3  
Reply Thu 16 Jul, 2009 02:44 pm
I have been coaching youth football for 14 years and high school football for 2 years. In all that time I have seen no more than a handful of what I would consider a serious injury (2 broken bones, two knee injuries, and 2 concussions). Only 1 broken bone and one knee was at the youth level. Both of those had nothing to do with the supposed violence of the game. The broken bone was a cracked bone in the foot from planting his foot on a rock on the crappy field we were playing on and the knee was just a freaky thing that happened when the kid planted his foot to change direction and his knee gave out. He wasn't within 5 yards of anyone else when it happened.

On the flip side of things, two of my brothers coach youth soccer. 4 of my nephews play soccer. I don't know the total number of injuries they have seen in their 12 or so years of coaching, but I do know that there have been more than a few concussions, at least 5 blown knees that I can recall, and a couple of broken legs (two kids trying to kick the ball at the same time in the opposite direction). So, as safe as some would have you believe soccer is, it can be just as dangerous as football or any other sport (ever see what happens when a kid gets hit in the face with a line drive in baseball?!?!).

I will make no argument against how rough football is, but at the youth level (12-13 years old and under) the kids are neither fast enough or strong enough to do any kind of real damage to anyone else beyond bumps and bruises. My kids get those horsing around in the living room at home!!

Both of my boys have played football, my oldest right up through high school, and my daughter did gymnastics for the better part of 8 years. I can honestly say I was more concerned with injuries watching a gymnastics meet than I ever was watching a football game. And the only injury she has ever sustained is a broken arm...which she got (in the 'safety' of my home) trying to do a cartwheel off our sofa at the age of 4.

If the coaches know what they are doing (and this is true in any sport), then injuries are seldom, if ever, an issue. That is where parents should focus their attention and concern; on the men and women who will be coaching their children. Ask questions, get involved as much as you can, but don't deny your kids the opportunity to experience life in all it's flavors.

Obviously this is all anecdotal evidence, and some of it just my opinion, but it is based in more than a few years of direct experience as both a coach and a parent/uncle. I say let your son play.
George
 
  1  
Reply Thu 16 Jul, 2009 02:50 pm
@CoachTom,
Welcome to A2K, Tom. I hope you'll stay around. I've known a couple of
kids to get hurt by sticking their helmets into the chests of their opponent,
but I blame the coaches for that. This was at the high school level, not
PeeWee, I should make that clear.
0 Replies
 
 

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