Thursday December 03, 2015

Football concussion risk too great for high school, say doctors

A new research paper set to be published next month in the American Journal of Bioethics will make the case that the risk of head injuries from playing football is so great that young players should stop playing the game.

A new research paper set to be published next month in the American Journal of Bioethics will make the case that the risk of head injuries from playing football is so great that young players should stop playing the game. (Kevin Wolf/Associated Press)

Listen 20:06
"It was a decision we didn't make lightly.  But safety has to be the first priority. Offensive line is there to protect the quarterback and if they can't do that because the people who are attacking are able to get around them and quickly close on the quarterback, then the quarterback can suffer significant injuries."   - Mark Duley, Principal at Robert Bateman High School 

In Burlington, Ontario, Robert Bateman High School has decided to drop its football program completely because of the risk of injuries to its players.

Pulling the plug on a football program may be a difficult decision for a high school to make, but it's one that more and more schools across North America may be considering soon.

High School Football

Concussion specialist Charles Tator says we should make sports safer, not ban them from high schools (Jordan Cameron/Flickr cc)

 A new research paper set to be published next month in the American Journal of Bioethics will make the case that the risk of head injuries from playing football is so great that young players should stop playing the game. 

Dr. Shailendra Prasad is a family doctor and the co-author of that study. He is also an Associate Professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health at the University of Minnesota.  

Football may come with some serious risks but it's a sport that many love. Marcel Bellefeuille has spent the past 25 years as a college and professional football coach. He's been a high school football head coach, and Head Coach of the CFL's Hamilton Tiger Cats. 

Dr. Charles Tator has seen plenty of young athletes with concussions and regularly advises their parents on what to do. Dr. Charles Tator is the Director of the Canadian Concussion Centre at Toronto Western Hospital.   
 

Should contact sports like football be banned from high schools?  

Let us know what you think. Send us an email. Find us on Facebook or tweet us at @TheCurrentCBC.

This segment was produced by The Current's Sujata Berry and Ines Colabrese.