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Tackle Football for Kids: Should I let my young son play?

Fef 2010/04/18 08:42:11
Don't let young kids play tackle football
Let kids play tackle football
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My grade-school son loves football. He studies it night/day. But he has never played in an organized game football game. Now he wants to play tackle football. I want him to participate in something he loves and in organized sports. And, I think he would make a great player.

However, many parents have told me about the dangers of head injuries and other serious dangers. He would wear full pads, gear, helmet and only with other young kids who probably can't hit that hard.

Some parents suggesting letting him play now with the little kids, then pull him out when the hitting increases in a few years. But why let him get excited to play if he couldn't play later?

What do you think?
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Top Opinion

  • Chrissy592 2010/04/18 14:28:33
    Let kids play tackle football
    Chrissy592
    +9
    I was as nervous as you when my son John decided he wanted to play team sports. I cringed over the idea of him getting hurt or disappointed but I couldn't deny him the benefits of team play. You are his dad and ultimately it is up to you whether you will pay the exorbetent price to allow him to play and take the risk of injuries. The way I looked at it was this. I would be paying almost the same amount if he decided he wanted to be in dance, gymnastics or martial arts (trust me with four kids we have paid for it all atleast once). He could get just as hurt in any of those activities or by just riding his bike down the sidewalk. Risk is a part of life. I can honestly say that organized sports have been great for John. It has helped him come out of his shell more, he loves feeling like a part of a team. Whether they win or lose he feels good because he tried his best and his dad and I praise him win or lose. It keeps him active and healthy versus being pasty, pale, fat and unhealthy in front of a tv screen playing video games and becoming more of a shut-in drawn into a world of complete virtual un-reality. I think he will be better suited for college and the "real-world" when he is an adult. With the organized sports he is learning to be a team player and that everyone is import...
    I was as nervous as you when my son John decided he wanted to play team sports. I cringed over the idea of him getting hurt or disappointed but I couldn't deny him the benefits of team play. You are his dad and ultimately it is up to you whether you will pay the exorbetent price to allow him to play and take the risk of injuries. The way I looked at it was this. I would be paying almost the same amount if he decided he wanted to be in dance, gymnastics or martial arts (trust me with four kids we have paid for it all atleast once). He could get just as hurt in any of those activities or by just riding his bike down the sidewalk. Risk is a part of life. I can honestly say that organized sports have been great for John. It has helped him come out of his shell more, he loves feeling like a part of a team. Whether they win or lose he feels good because he tried his best and his dad and I praise him win or lose. It keeps him active and healthy versus being pasty, pale, fat and unhealthy in front of a tv screen playing video games and becoming more of a shut-in drawn into a world of complete virtual un-reality. I think he will be better suited for college and the "real-world" when he is an adult. With the organized sports he is learning to be a team player and that everyone is important and each position vital. He is learning to take criticism positively and sees it as an opportunity to improve and not as an insult to his abilities or his character. He is learning time management skills and organizational skills. (How cool would it be if all adults could be so mature?) Let him play and when he decides he wants to quit football and move onto soccer, baseball, tennis, golf, whatever, be supportive and let him do it. They are only little once and you have to teach them to grow and help them find themselves. Good luck Fef.
    (more)

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Opinions

  • lynnprints 2012/08/27 00:52:29
    Don't let young kids play tackle football
    lynnprints
    We are involved in soccer! Love it!
  • jeremy 2012/05/23 17:50:22
    Here's what you should do...
    jeremy
    I played highschool and college football and love it, but I will not let my 3 boys play, because as a responsible parent, who knows first hand the consequences, I would be crazy and irresponsible to allow them to play. You can make your own decision about your kids, its your concience you'll have to deal with. They may see not signs of injury after highschool, but just wait until they turn 30 to 40; it will be apparent then, trust me.
  • Issiah 2011/09/03 15:32:30
    Let kids play tackle football
    Issiah
    we shoud let my son play
  • littlebuffalo55TBA 2010/09/01 00:30:18
    Let kids play tackle football
    littlebuffalo55TBA
    +1
    mark sanchez Uncanny resemblence!

    It's a great experience! Is there risk? Sure lifes full of them. I think this kids got the right support network so the bumps & bruises won't be so bad.
  • Steven 2010/08/31 01:19:48
    Let kids play tackle football
    Steven
    +4
    Im in high school football right now and ive played since 4th grade and when i started it was all arm tackles and noone got hit hard and as the level of hitting gets harder they will get tougher and the pads do a surprisingly good job protecting the child. I have taken and given many hits and ive have actually never gotten injured from footbal
  • Dolly 2010/06/07 07:50:37
    Here's what you should do...
    Dolly
    +1
    Don't let them play at all unless the kids are all close to each other in size and weight.!
  • Fef Dolly 2010/09/01 00:06:28
    Fef
    The league does a great job of monitoring weights and restricting age/weights. We had to do a weigh in before the first game.
  • ISLANDER 2010/05/19 05:01:43
    Let kids play tackle football
    ISLANDER
    +1
    I think it is a great Idea. It teaches your child not only self control but pride in the work they do. My brother had played sense he was 8 and you can't find a better guy then him. I'm going to for sure let my kids play. teaches child pride work brother played 8 guy kids play
  • freakoutnow... cuz mom's here 2010/05/12 02:09:57
    Let kids play tackle football
    freakoutnow... cuz mom's here
    +1
    Kids are kids. Many who play in Junior High will never play enough time in High School to get hurt. Many who play in high school will never get to play in college. Most who play in college will never make a pro roster. Most who make a pro roster never play in a game or even make the team that plays on Sunday. So don't worry about injury because that isn't the primary reason why this occurs. Let him be a kid and enjoy what he loves to do.
  • joe59 2010/05/11 00:22:18
    Let kids play tackle football
    joe59
    +1
    Hell yeah man, I played when I was a kid and loved it. Even without pads before school in the morning, kill the man with the football.
  • Dani 2010/05/10 12:23:07
    Let kids play tackle football
    Dani
    +1
    let him play but in a safety way also
  • Mark 2010/05/06 23:09:54
    Here's what you should do...
    Mark
    +1
    Fef , as I said on your private messaging , this is a tough one .

    I believe you will find that the stats on injuries , were far fewer when these little athletes started young . The risk and worry levels of being a parent , makes this decision tough .

    Another angle could be : does the genetics of your family produce 200 lb. males that
    run like cheetas ? Reason I throw that into the mix , is if no matter how good the little guy is now , is it likely it could lead to a college scholarship ? Are there other physical
    sports that would help keep him in shape ? Today kids are so obeast on average , we will have the 1st generation of offspring that is NOT likely to out live their parents ...

    And last , but is really always to be the first thing we do , is to pray about it .

    little mark
  • jerrbear 2010/05/05 17:41:39
    Let kids play tackle football
    jerrbear
    This is part of growing up if it's too rough he won't do it anymore , but if he likes it encourage him to play , this might be a future NFL star you have here! play tackle football growing rough encourage play future nfl star
  • BK 2010/05/03 16:59:06
    Let kids play tackle football
    BK
    +1
    I'm thinking about getting my son signed up for organized hockey next winter. He's six. It won't be a checking league this young, I'm sure, but physical contact is pretty much a given. My attitude is that boys are going to be rough, more often than not anyway, so why not make it supervised rough-housing? The big thing, I think, is to make sure you are comfortable with the coaches, that they place as much emphasis on fun and safety as they do on winning. When they get older, the intensity will get ramped up, but by then, your son will either A) decide he's done (because there's this cute girl, or he wants to play guitar [probably because of the cute girl]) or B) will be used to getting banged into, so it won't scare him off, and plus, there's this cute girl who likes football players.
  • Fef BK 2010/05/03 23:50:59
    Fef
    +1
    I broke my ankle and tore my ligament playing hockey a few years after graduating college. It took me four months before I could drive again. That sucked. I'd rather they get hurt now while their bodies can heal and he wouldn't miss anything because we already shlep him around.
  • BK Fef 2010/05/04 12:51:46
    BK
    +1
    Thnakfully, I've avoided the major injury bug so far (and I am looking for some wood to knock on to keep it that way), but yeah, kids heal fast. I'd hate to see my boy with a busted anything, but the nice thing is, they are all pretty light at this age, so the collisions don't have quite the same impact as when they get older.
    Did you grow up in Southern California, or are you a transplanted Northerner? I ask mostly because I'm curious how many kids grow up in California playing hockey.
  • Fef BK 2010/05/05 17:34:13
    Fef
    +1
    I grew up in Southern California -- born, raised, schooled... I often joke that I haven't gone far in life.
    grew southern california born raised schooled joke life
  • BK Fef 2010/05/05 17:51:07
    BK
    I'd have to say the same thing, except about Detroit. I work at one of the schools I went to. Fricken wierd, walking down these hallways twenty years after I left them.
    Okay, so how big was hockey there whne you were growing up, and seeing that your age is close to mine, how much influence did Gretzky going to the Kings have on your playing hockey? Or were you into it before, with the Triple Crown line and Marcel Dionne? And those killer yellow and purple jerseys? The NHL is nowhere near as colorful (literally) as they used to be.
  • turtledove123 2010/05/03 13:05:01
    Here's what you should do...
    turtledove123
    +2
    You have to go and check out the coaches. Are they making sure the kids have fun, or are they acting like the kids are on a pro team? Are they trying to make sure the kids dont get hurt? If you dont like what you see, hold off until your son is in junior high. Some kids have been playing for so long that they lose interest. Wait til seventh grade, is my best advice.
  • DaughterofDarkness~a.k.a Al... 2010/05/03 03:50:15
    Let kids play tackle football
    DaughterofDarkness~a.k.a Alice~in Nyx I trust
    +2
    my brothers in 5th grade, and he plays tackle football. no major injuries. to them its just a fun game. when he gets to middle school age, maybe pull him out, because, then severe injuries could happen. i dont mean to freak you out by using this example, but last season at my school, this kid i kind of know whos on the football team got his shoulder dislocated on a tackle. talk about ouch.
  • Lizbeth 2010/05/03 01:10:38
    Don't let young kids play tackle football
    Lizbeth
    +2
    The Department of Education doesn't support allowing children below the seventh grade, or ages 10 to 11, to play football. The bones of younger children are in the process of developing and severe damage could occur as a result of it. As parents and/or educators, it is our responsibility to make decisions for our children that are in the best interest of our children's welfare. No, children should not participate in anything that might (even if the possibility is slight) harm their growth.
  • nnnn 2010/05/02 22:41:54
    Let kids play tackle football
    nnnn
    +1
    I think that people who don't let there kids play football are way to overprotective and need to just let them play, they won't die. play tackle football people kids play football overprotective play die
  • That One Guy 2010/05/02 21:54:12
    Let kids play tackle football
    That One Guy
    +1
    let him do what he loves. football is a great sport and injuries shouldnt stop a person from chasin their dreams. Head injuries are not the most common injuries in football, just the most publicized. Ive been playing football for 5 years now and ive never gotten a head injury. coaches and leagues are doing more to prevent or at least lower the number of head injuries in football. as long as he keeps his head up he should be ok.
  • Margaret 2010/05/02 13:38:53 (edited)
    Let kids play tackle football
    Margaret
    +1
    I was faced with the very same decision when my son was younger. He was always big for his age (he's now 6'5" and weighs 220). Football divisions in our area were based on weight, not age, so he would have played with much older boys for the most part. My concern was that although he was bigger, he would not be as coordinated as the older boys who were the same size.


    I decided not to let him play out of fear he would be injured. I regret that decision. Although there is the chance your son could get hurt, it's a very small chance. I truly believe my son would have benefited from playing, and I'm sorry I didn't give him that experience. I completely understand your dilemma.
  • Fef Margaret 2010/05/03 06:27:58
    Fef
    +1
    Once again, the cliche rings true: you regret what you didn't do, not what you did do.
  • Margaret Fef 2010/05/07 12:33:31
    Margaret
    +1
    Oh, I've regretted one or two things I did do. I hope you opt to let him play. I would understand the reasoning behind your decision either way on this one. If Dana's okay with it too, let him have a go. Never know...he could love it or decide he likes the stands better than the field. Keep us posted on what you decide. = )
  • freaky 2010/05/02 05:21:04
    Let kids play tackle football
    freaky
    +1
    dont worry let him play ;)
  • blackmoon 2010/05/02 01:47:07
    Here's what you should do...
    blackmoon
    +1
    let him play, he needs to experience what he has been studying day/night it would be sad if he could do that yes they may get hurt, but, thats the thing with football he can get hurt doing anyother sport as well i say let him give it a shot :)
  • Mrkando 2010/05/01 19:20:27
    Here's what you should do...
    Mrkando
    +1
    This is only my opinion of course but it is based upon my experience as a child. I did not play in any sports until I was in high school. I was not pushed into anything and so I did not.

    In my sophomore year I joined the football team. I can tell you now that doing that helped grow me up more than anything else I could have ever done.
    Why? While it can be a dangerous sport if things go wrong the process of getting in shape and actually playing this game shows you that you are so much more capable of doing something that you never thought you could. The danger of this sport, especially at your son's age, is not nearly as much a factor as giving your son the confidence he needs later in life. I had no great desire to play football but I am so thankful I did. It gave me the knowledge I needed for a number of things later in life......'I know I can do this'.

    It is always difficult to stand by and watch our children, knowing that if things go wrong they could be hurt. But the alternative is to teach them that, no matter what it is, if it could hurt you don't do it. Walking across the street can get you killed but we do it every day. We can not protect our children from everything. So give him the chance to see what he is really able to do.

    If you let him play at this age, he w...
    This is only my opinion of course but it is based upon my experience as a child. I did not play in any sports until I was in high school. I was not pushed into anything and so I did not.

    In my sophomore year I joined the football team. I can tell you now that doing that helped grow me up more than anything else I could have ever done.
    Why? While it can be a dangerous sport if things go wrong the process of getting in shape and actually playing this game shows you that you are so much more capable of doing something that you never thought you could. The danger of this sport, especially at your son's age, is not nearly as much a factor as giving your son the confidence he needs later in life. I had no great desire to play football but I am so thankful I did. It gave me the knowledge I needed for a number of things later in life......'I know I can do this'.

    It is always difficult to stand by and watch our children, knowing that if things go wrong they could be hurt. But the alternative is to teach them that, no matter what it is, if it could hurt you don't do it. Walking across the street can get you killed but we do it every day. We can not protect our children from everything. So give him the chance to see what he is really able to do.

    If you let him play at this age, he will then know everything he needs to know when he is older about how to take care of himself. It is not nearly as much about playing football as it is about playing the game of life. And sooner or later you will have to watch him do what he loves to do regardless of your feeling about it. Now is the time.
    (more)
  • Fef Mrkando 2010/05/02 07:54:39
    Fef
    +1
    You make an excellent, counter-intuitive point. Let him do it because of the danger...
  • Mrkando Fef 2010/05/02 19:50:49
    Mrkando
    +1
    To some extent, yes. My intent however is to point out, in his age group, the benefits of learning how much he can or can not do far out weigh any risk. And when he gets to high school, the risk will be higher but he will be ready for it. And I believe you said he loves to play football. With that attitude he should never sit on the side lines. He will do fine.
  • SNIPER 2010/05/01 19:14:48
    Let kids play tackle football
    SNIPER
    +1
    He will either love it or hate it. If he loves the game you will enjoy it more than he will from watching him learn and grow !!!!!
  • DemonxOisin 2010/05/01 18:55:45
    Let kids play tackle football
    DemonxOisin
    +1
    Anything worth doing has it's risks.
    If he loves it as much as you describe, then wouldn't he rather get hurt doing something that he loves then be safe sitting at home doing nothing?
    I say go for it. Besides, if he starts young (where kids are too little to cause any serious injury) he will get better at it, and be able to save himself from injury when he gets older.
  • Loreli 2010/05/01 18:49:09
    Let kids play tackle football
    Loreli
    +1
    As long as the parents are involved in monitoring the activity, I think it's a great thing for young boys to be involved in. My Dad coached Pop Warner football, it was a vert positive experience for all.
  • BlytheSpirit~bn0 2010/05/01 18:35:46
    Let kids play tackle football
    BlytheSpirit~bn0
    +1
    If he wants to, why not? Life is risky. Live it with gusto.
  • Jersey-Gurl 2010/05/01 18:29:00
    Let kids play tackle football
    Jersey-Gurl
    +1
    Abunch of people do.
  • luigi1- in god we trust 2010/04/25 13:03:38
    Here's what you should do...
    luigi1- in god we trust
    +1
    get involved. talk to the school, the coach & above all with your son. touch football may be more in line at his tender age. too many kids are injured in sports at early ages because they were pushed into sports by others or made hasty choices.
  • PetrifiedElephantPoop 2010/04/23 23:51:10
    Let kids play tackle football
    PetrifiedElephantPoop
    +1
    we did many crazier things as kids....don't baby him.....let him play.
  • Fef Petrifi... 2010/04/25 04:32:10
    Fef
    +1
    My son and the cousins just had a long day of water balloon fights, wrestling and other dangerous activities... Organized football at his age will probably keep him out of getting hurt!
  • Petrifi... Fef 2010/04/25 15:26:31
    PetrifiedElephantPoop
    +1
    exactly.....I mean we rode bikes with helmets, skated on thin ice without supervision....think of all the things you did as a kid.....I mean...they don't even make the Jarts with sharp tips or any tips for that matter.

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