Interview with Dr. Steven DeKosky

Tolerable Risks? Physicians and Youth Tackle Football

Kathleen E. Bachynski, M.P.H.

N Engl J Med 2016; 374:405-407 February 4, 2016 DOI: 10.1056/NEJMp1513993

At least 11 U.S. high-school athletes died playing football during the fall 2015 season. Their deaths attracted widespread media attention and provided fodder for ongoing debates over the safety of youth tackle football. In October 2015, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) issued its first policy statement directly addressing tackling in football. The organization’s Council on Sports Medicine and Fitness conducted a review of the literature on tackling and football-related injuries and evaluated the potential effects of limiting or delaying tackling on injury risk. It found that concussions and catastrophic injuries are particularly associated with tackling and that eliminating tackling from football would probably reduce the incidence of concussions, severe injuries, catastrophic injuries, and overall injuries. (read more)

As a follow up/commentary on this article here is an interview with Dr. Steven DeKosky on youth football, head injuries, and a recent American Academy of Pediatrics policy statement. Stephen Morrissey, the interviewer, is the Managing Editor of the The New England Journal of Medicine.