Monday, July 07, 2014

Soccer "heading" and brain injury



Soccer can be merely boring for a lot of us, but it can cause serious brain injury to players and pose special dangers for children. Many parents encourage their children to play soccer, seeing it as a game that's safer and with less physical impact than football. 

Of course children can be injured playing any sport, but "headers" in soccer are an important part of the game. Seems like a bad idea to encourage children to risk brain injury by the cumulative effect of repeated headers.

I also object to encouraging children to ride bikes, which has long been an important part of childhood for many children. We now know that riding a bike is one of the most dangerous things a child can do, which makes it irresponsible of City Hall and the Bicycle Coalition to encourage children to ride bikes on city streets.

But then the city is in denial in general about the dangers of cycling for everyone, not just children, since there has still been little official reaction to that 2012 UC study that found there has been a significant under-count of cycling accidents in San Francisco. 

The MTA's Ed Reiskin has acknowledged that the city is aware of the study and is apparently grappling with its implications, which is presumably why the city hasn't released a Collisions Report since August, 2012.

The concussion issue is here to stay, as both the NHL and the NFL are struggling to deal with it. How can parents and schools continue to encourage children to play hockey and football---and even soccer---in light of our growing understanding of brain injury?

Labels: , , , , ,

11 Comments:

At 1:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What sport should children compete in? Tiddlywinks?

 
At 4:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rob aside from telling people what you think they shouldnt be able to do, what do you actually do? Do you do charity work? Volunteer at local youth organizations? Volunteer at homeless shelters?

 
At 6:54 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

This post is about sports and concussions. Nothing to say about that? This blog is not some kind of extended selfie about me, but about issues and subjects that interest me---especially local issues or issues that have local implications.

See for example the previous post on homelessness in San Francisco, an issue that I've followed closely for ten years. People who "volunteer at homeless shelters" surely try to put their actions in some kind of context. That's what I've tried to do here since 2004.

If you want to share with us what you and others do to make the world a better place, why not do your own blog about that? Go for it, and send the blog URL to me. I'll post it here.

 
At 6:58 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

"What sport should children compete in? Tiddlywinks?"

Baseball/softball, basketball, track and field, cross-country---which I ran one year in high school---tennis, swimming, and golf. You can hurt yourself in these sports, but concussions are rare.

 
At 11:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Baseball - a game where balls are thrown at the batter at 90+ MPH. Basketball, a sport where ACLs go to die. Swimming - land of repetitive stress injuries to the shoulder.

Then you have cross-country, also known as "the only sport more boring than soccer"

 
At 10:17 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

The topic is concussions, not sports injuries in general. Cross country running is not a spectator sport, but it's of great interest to the participants.

 
At 11:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You continue to exhibit an incomplete understanding of the things you argue. Bikes, parking, religion, now sports.

"The Freel case underscores the fact that concussions can be a problem even in sports where they occur less frequently, experts say."

http://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/baseball-brain-new-danger-concussion-crisis-f2D11756194

 
At 11:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You play soccer, you might get a concussion. You ride a bike, you might get hit. You drive a car, you might get into a fatal accident.

In your world, people should only be allowed to make that third choice, the other two should be subjected to a nanny state telling them their choice is "wrong". Fucking liberal. Fucking commie.

 
At 12:14 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

"The Freel case underscores the fact that concussions can be a problem even in sports where they occur less frequently, experts say."

Yes, which is what will make the concussion issue a very big deal for years to come.

"In your world, people should only be allowed to make that third choice, the other two should be subjected to a nanny state telling them their choice is 'wrong.'"

No, all I'm saying is that people should make informed choices about the dangers of these sports, especially parents about the sports they allow their children to play.

 
At 5:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"No, all I'm saying is that people should make informed choices about the dangers of these sports, especially parents about the sports they allow their children to play."

exactly. people continue to make the choice on their own to ride a bicycle and have their children ride bicycles. stop trying to tell them what to do and stop saying that the bike coalition or someone else is making them do it. no, they are deciding to do it on their own. grow up.

 
At 9:42 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Yes, and they can stop deciding to do it when they are informed about the real dangers. Riding a bike and playing soccer used to be perceived as more or less safe activities, but we are now learning otherwise.

 

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home