A recent small-scale study of 7- and 8-year-old football players showed that they received on average more than 100 hits to the head, some of them severe, over the course of a season. And researchers have found that head injuries are to a certain degree cumulative, especially in children: Once a kid gets his or her first concussion, the second and third and fourth occur more frequently — and on less impact.
But no one knows what the breaking point is. At which point does the damage become catastrophic and irreparable? There’s a lot we just don’t know.
For the parents of the millions of kids who play contact sports, all that research and news coverage about head injuries boils down to one simple question: Should I let my child play?
The Public Insight Network’s Samara Freemark has the story.
THIS WEEK’S FEED: CONTACT SPORTS
July 30, 2012
AUDIO FEATURE | Should I let my child play?
For the parents of the millions of kids who play contact sports, all the research and news coverage about head injuries and concussions these days boils down to one simple question: Should I let my child play?
Reporter: Samara Freemark, PIN reporter (firstname.lastname@example.org, 651-290-1289)
Audio files, transcripts and cues available at Dropbox* (preview the audio below)
ONLINE FEATURE | Concussions and contact sports
In the past couple of years, as new information has emerged about the links between recurring concussions and dementia, depression and Alzheimer’s-like symptoms, many states have passed some form of concussion-related legislation to protect youth athletes. Here, parents share their photos and experiences with contact sports and their children.
Producers: Samara Freemark, PIN reporter (email@example.com, 651-290-1289) & Meg Martin, associate editor (firstname.lastname@example.org, 651-290-1055)
Link: Photo gallery: “Let the kids play?” and Interactive graphic: “Kids, sports and brain injury“
All media files (.wav, .doc, etc.), a printable version of this document and expert contact information available at DropBox. Preview the audio above.
QUESTIONS WE POSED TO THE NETWORK [Find the query here]
– Do your children play contact sports?
– With all of the news coverage of concussions and brain injuries in professional sports, do you worry about your kids getting hurt?
– Has your child ever been injured?
– What would it take for you to consider pulling your child out of a contact sport?
Please credit American Public Media’s Public Insight Network (publicinsightnetwork.org) when using this feed.
Additional crediting materials (links, images and an Insight button) are available in our Dropbox folder.
This package was produced by these members of the Public Insight Network’s national editorial team:
Samara Freemark – reporter, insight & expert feed curator (email@example.com, 651-290-1289)
Meg Martin – copy editor, weekly feed producer (firstname.lastname@example.org, 651-290-1055)
Jeff Jones – engagement editor (email@example.com, 651-290-1274)
Kate Moos – executive producer (firstname.lastname@example.org, 651-290-1318)