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.