Thursday, March 13, 2014

CHILDREN CONTACT SPORTS; SANCTIONED CHILD ABUSE

Which comes first? Our children's health and safety or entertaining ourselves by throwing them into games that are proven to be dangerous and causing severe injuries? The jury is in folks. Parents are endangering their children by allowing them to play in sports known to cause serious long term injuries; specifically head trauma.

We might get away with excusing adults for their crazy-making behavior because they are free to throw themselves in harms way. But, when it comes to children both parents and the government have both a moral and legal obligation to protect them.

When parents are incapable (or too stupid)  to care for their children, there are laws that require the government to step in on a child's behalf. Allowing parents to subject their children to dangerous sports known to cause sever head injuries and long term damage is nothing more than sanctioning child abuse.

Grown adults sitting in bleachers cheering their children on; encouraging them to beat each other senseless reflects a society in free fall self destruction. It's time for parents to wake up.

At House Hearing On Youth Concussions, NFL Touts Unproven ‘Heads Up’ Tackling Program

The hearing, led by subcommittee Chairman Lee Terry (R-Neb.), examined the risks of head injuries in a handful of sports to both youth and professional athletes. The subcommittee on commerce, manufacturing and trade heard from representatives from the National Football League (NFL), National Hockey League (NHL), youth football and hockey leagues, a high school athlete and medical professionals.

Lawmakers asked questions about how coaches can be trained to spot head injuries such as concussions, and what technology advances can be expected from sports equipment to prevent these head injuries.

During the hearing, a particular focus was given to the risks of head injuries in sports like soccer and lacrosse that often get ignored because they are not considered as violent as football or hockey.

“There are other sports that have just as big of a problem with concussions,” Terry said. “We need to raise awareness.”

Terry said he has two children who play lacrosse that is he concerned about. He wants to make sure that parents of children in all sports feel comfortable enough in the level of safety to let their children play.

Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), ranking member of the subcommittee, expressed similar concerns for the safety of soccer players during the hearing, noting that her 16-year-old granddaughter plays the sport.

Schakowsky said soccer hasn't “grasped the importance.”

“It seems like soccer has more to do than other sports,” she said.

Schakowsky pointed out that soccer players, in contrast to football and hockey players, do not wear helmets or wear much padding, which potentially puts the players at a greater risk for injuries.

Both Schakowsky and Terry rallied around Scurry, who testified about the personal struggles she has dealt with in her life ever since she suffered her head injury. She said she has been treated for symptoms such as a lack of concentration, balance issues, memory loss, anxiety and depression because of the head injury.

Scurry said she hopes soccer leagues will take more precautions to protect their players, particularly youth soccer leagues.

“My main focus is what is done after a hit occurs to keep children and players on the bench after a hit occurs,” Scurry testified.