Should You Let Your Child Play Contact Sports?

A doctor/parent talks about trying to find a balance between the benefits and dangers of letting his children play contact sports.

I'm wearing two hats here; I'm wearing brain injury scientist, and I'm wearing parent hat. I'm an avid sports fan. I participated in many contact and collision sports over my lifetime. What I try to balance as a parent is the enjoyment that my son or daughter might experience from the sports participation, the lessons they may learn, and the safety of their participation. My perspective is--as it relates to concussion-- is that a single event is a transient neurologic event that has a rapid and complete recovery in a few days in the overwhelming majority of cases. If I sensed that my son or daughter was at increased risk of cumulative effects from repeated concussion, then I would rethink the equation and perhaps steer them away from that contact or collision sport. But until then, as long as I am reasonably confident about their safe participation and the safe participation principles of the organizing body for that sport, I think I'd be inclined to let them participate.
Posted on BrainLine October 20, 2010.

Produced by Victoria Tilney McDonough and Brian King, BrainLine.