Is Soccer Safe for Kids?

Excerpt of Article by William Brangham | PBS Newshour

2015-0301 Youth Soccer

Three years ago, during a routine check-up for my oldest son, Jack, then 10, our beloved pediatrician looked Jack straight in the eye and said: “I hope when I see you next, you’re not playing soccer anymore.”

My perfectly healthy kid, sitting on the exam table in his soccer jersey, was dumbstruck. So was my wife.

Our doctor’s warning — one he now gives to all his young patients and their families — came from his years of caring for an increasing flow of kids suffering serious, sometimes life-altering concussions from playing soccer. “If I don’t get this information across,” he told me, “even at the risk of upsetting people, I’ve failed. I haven’t done my job.”

According to Dr. Robert Cantu, one of the country’s top specialists in youth sports injury, soccer is right up there behind football in the incidence of reported concussions in kids. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that about 10,000 kids land in the emergency room every year for soccer-related brain injuries.

But at the same time, following the doctor’s orders seemed unthinkable.

To read the complete article, click here.


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Thanks to William Brangham for writing the article; PBS Newshour for committing its resources to the article;  Dr. Robert Cantu for contributing to the article; Google for helping me find the article; YouTube for hosting the video; and all the other people who, directly or indirectly, made it possible for me to include the picture, video, and text I used in this post.

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