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Nov, 2017

The Benefits of that Kind of Activity Far Outweigh any potential risk.

Are the true dangers of concussion and CTE misunderstood?


Today I was sent a news article written by Scott J. Gilbert of the Penn State Hershey Newsroom. In the article Mr. Gilbert touched base on the ever growing concerns in sports which is Concussions and CTE and how does it affect our children? He had the opportunity to speak with Dr. Robert Harbaugh, director of the Penn State Institute of the Neurosciences & Dr. Matthew Silvis, director of Primary Care Sports Medicine at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. 

The article brings light to the fact that even though the growing awareness is great, that medical professionals and scientists have more questions than they do answers at this time. Dr. Harbaugh states "Its an easily understood and seemingly compelling story to say that someone plays football and because of this they develop a degenerative brain disease years later. However, this simple story doesn't hold up very well when you look into the details. He also continued to say "Head trauma may be a necessary piece in this condition, but there may be other necessary pieces as well." 

As you continue to read the article it begins to touch base on the fact that these risks exist in all contact sports and not just football. Dr. Silvis states "As a parent, I'd be asking those questions too, but the thing to remember is this is not just a football problem. All contact sports carry a risk of repetitive concussion." I think this is a point that is far too often looked over. When you hear the word concussion or CTE, the first word, image or thought we have is football related, and that shouldn't be the case our children participate in may different physical activities. Another very intriguing part of the article is when Dr. Harbaugh notes that the largest number of concussions nationwide from sports activity are related to bicycling, because many more people ride bicycles than play football. Does this mean we will begin to prevent our children from riding bicycle on those warm summer nights with their friends? I sure hope not. 

Last but definitely not least, the part that really caught my eye would have to be when Dr. Harbaugh said the real crisis is not CTE, but rather children not getting enough vigorous physical activity. Childhood obesity is a growing problem, Dr Harbaugh states "Every time we scare people away from participating in a sport, we make that problem worse. Parents need to keep this in perspective. The benefits of that kind of activity far outweigh any potential risk." 

I think we all need to do our own research, and look into more detail before we jump to conclusions. All sports will have risks associated with them, the decision we need to make is whether those risks out weigh the benefits of our children learning life lessons, teamwork, friendships, staying healthy and enjoying their childhood.  Please take time to read the article below, so you can have more information to make an educated decision for your loved ones. 

The Medical Minute: True Dangers of Concussion and CTE often Misunderstood

Thank you, 

FFO Hummelstown Bulldogs Staff 

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