Tackling in Youth Football Found to Be Cause of Most Concussions

From the Show: Healthy Children
Summary: American football remains one of the most popular sports for male high school athletes with more than 1.1 million players.
Air Date: 11/4/15
Duration: 10
Host: Melanie Cole, MS
Guest Bio: William Meehan, MD, FAAP
William Meehan William P. Meehan III, MD, is Director of the Micheli Center for Sports Injury Prevention, Director of Research for the Brain Injury Center at Boston Children's Hospital, and Associate Director of The Football Players Health Study at Harvard, a multi-million dollar grant to explore the medical issues that affect professional football players.

He graduated from Harvard Medical School where he is currently an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Orthopaedics. Dr. Meehan is board certified in pediatrics, pediatric emergency medicine, and sports medicine. He conducts both clinical and scientific research in the area of sports injuries and concussive brain injury.

His research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Center for the Integration of Medicine and Innovative Technology, the National Football League Players Association, the National Football League and the National Hockey League Alumni Association. He is the 2012 winner of the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine's award for Best Overall Research. He has multiple medical and scientific publications and is author of the book Kids, Sports, and Concussion: A Guide for Coaches and Parents.
Tackling in Youth Football Found to Be Cause of Most Concussions
American football remains an extremely popular sport for male high school athletes, with more than 1.1 million players. In addition, there are approximately 250,000 youth football players five to 15 years of age in Pop Warner leagues alone, making football one of the most popular sports for younger athletes as well.

A controversial topic among doctors, coaches, and parents is the risk of head, neck, and other serious injuries your child may face.

What are some common injuries in football?

The most commonly injured body parts in football include knees, ankles, hands, and back. The head and neck sustain a relatively small proportion of overall injuries, ranging from 5-13%.

Fortunately, most injuries are contusions, musculotendinous strains, and ligamentous sprains.

What about head injuries?

A study by Badgeley et al suggests that during high school football, the majority (64.3%) of concussions occur when an athlete is tackling or being tackled, a finding consistent with previous work performed by some of the same investigators, which showed that tackling/being tackled accounted for half of all high school football injuries.

Listen in as William Meehan, MD, FAAP, discusses tackling and other injuries in youth football.
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