Should You Let Your Child 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.

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