Is high school football too dangerous?

More than 1 million young athletes play high school football and this year alone there have been 11 football related deaths.
 
Doctor Travis Maak with the University of Utah is here to shed some light on the issue and to answer the question -- is high school football too dangerous?
 
The high speeds and full contact associated with football can result in injuries.  Overuse and traumatic injuries occur, but concussions are most common.
 
"The force of either bringing an opponent down to the ground or resisting being brought down to the ground makes football players prone to injury anywhere on their bodies," explained Dr. Travis Maak.  
 
So with all the contact, are their ways to keep high school players on the field?
 
Maak says yes, that doing the following can help make things more safe for players:
· Pre-season physicals/evaluations
· Warm-up and cool-down routines
· Consistently incorporate strength training and stretching
· Hydrate to maintain health and decrease cramps
· Stay active during summer/holiday breaks to prepare for return to sports
· Wear properly fitted protective equipment (helmet, pads, and mouth guard)
· Tackle with the head up and do not lead with the helmet 
· Talk to physician or athletic trainer if you have any concerns about football injuries or prevention strategies
 
Athletic trainers and coaches that are knowledgeable about first aid and can administer for minor injuries an help make the sport safer.
 
Coaches need to be prepared for emergencies, have medical personnel available for help with more significant injuries: concussions, dislocations, contusions, sprains, abrasions, and fractures.
 
For more information, visit sportsmed.uofuhealth.org or call 801-587-2222

 


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