Concussions and youth football: To tackle or not to tackle?

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Seven young athletes across the country have died playing football. Recently, the American Academy of Pediatrics released new safety guidelines for young players. Some of the new recommendations include safety measures and having a zero tolerance to illegal tackling.

Other suggestions include delaying the age for tackling or playing in leagues that do not tackle. Leanne Casolaro agrees with those suggestions because her 14-year-old son, Joe, is not allowed to play because he’s had six concussions.

“Once you get a concussion it makes it very easy you’re very susceptible to getting more concussions and as time went on and that’s exactly what happened, even the smallest things that wouldn’t bother somebody would give him a concussion and he’s a total of six since then,” said the concerned mother.

She said her son is an elite athlete who loved to play hockey and football.

“They were his life basically, He’s very athletic naturally, an elite athlete played in travel sports and concussions basically ended all of that, “said Casolaro.

Her son Joe is running cross country because he is not allowed to participate in any contact sports until he is cleared by his physicians and his mother.

“I hope I can play again because I’m only 14 and I’m all about contact, and I really want to play it,” said Joe.

Pediatrician David Arkin said he is a football fan and he would let his own children play the sport.

“I love football. I would I let my kids play football, yes I would. I would make sure they have a coach who is coaching them properly,” said the pediatrician.

Arkin said it is important for children to have fun.

“For a kid playing a game is what is important they should have exercise they should have fun, they should be better at the end of the season than the beginning of the season.  If your kid is accomplishing those things he’s doing well,” said Dr. Arkin.

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