If your child plays tackle football, you'll want to check out this poll
LOWELL, Mass. — According to a poll from Umass Lowell, the majority of Americans believe tackle football is unsafe for young children. There is an ever-growing divide among adults in this country over when it is safest for children to start any form of a sport.
The results came from a poll administered by the Umass Lowell Center for Public Opinion in a partnership with the Washington Post. The survey questions are in the order presented below.
The poll surveyed 1,000 American adults on general attitudes about youth playing football. The third released in its series, it showed that 53 percent feel that tackle football is not a safe activity for children before they are in high school. In comparison, 41 percent believe that tackle football is safe enough for children to participate in before they are in high school. Six percent are undecided on the issue.
The wording of this question was phrased in different age groups. People were asked, “At what age is it appropriate to introduce tackling into football?” The answers could have been under the age of 10, 10-13, 14-17, 18 or over, never, or any age.
These percentages were compiled to show that over 50 percent of respondents believe tackle football should not be introduced at the age of 13 or younger.
Despite the opposition to tackle football before high school, 57 percent of Americans believe that high school football is a safe activity.
In addition to those results, 83 percent of Americans believe there is “settled science” indicating that playing football causes brain injuries.
Among those who said that it is true that playing football causes brain injuries, 44 percent said it is okay for children age 13 or younger to play football. Out of those that disagreed that football causes brain injuries, 54 percent said it is okay for children age 13 or younger to play football.
A majority of 52 percent say that it is “certainly true” that Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy is a serious public health issue, with another 28 percent says that statement is “probably true.”
When it comes to the NFL and their involvement in head injuries, Americans are nearly split down the middle on where they stand.
Respondents were asked whether the NFL has done enough to address the concussion issue: 45 percent believe they have done too little, 40 percent believe they have adequately addressed the issue, 5 percent believe they have done too much and 11 percent are uncertain.
In a recent report from the Journal of the American Medical Association, it was stated that CTE was diagnosed after the death in 99 percent of 111 former NFL players.
“As Americans become more aware of the long-term effects of head injuries and concussions in sports, their preferences about youth football reflect a public divided about whether the game continues to be a safe activity for children,” said Prof. Joshua Dyck, co-director of UMass Lowell Center for Public Opinion.
Other interesting results of the poll show that women were more likely to say that football is not appropriate for children age 13 or younger than men, 54 percent to 46 percent.
Results of the UMass Lowell and Washington Post poll is based on live interviews with a random sample of 1,000 American adults. The interviews were conducted in English and Spanish via cellphones and landlines from Aug. 14 through Aug. 21. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.7 percentage points for all respondents.
Complete details of methodology and additional poll data are available here.
The New Hampshire Youth Football and Spirit Conference's website dedicates a section of their homepage to concussion safety, along with a "concussion fact sheet for parents" that details definitions, symptoms, and procedures.