From Jennifer Mascia, a post she wrote back in February:
Over the weekend, former “Dateline” host Stone Phillips wrote in to tell us of a story he recently published on his web site, Stone Phillips Reports, about the first study ever done on head impacts in youth football. “Hard Hits, Hard Numbers” includes interviews with Virginia Tech researchers who placed instrumented helmets on seven and eight-year-old football players and collected data on more than 750 hits to the head over the course of a season.
The details are jarring: the researchers found that some head impacts in youth football are equal in force to some of the bigger hits seen at the college level. And 3.5 million kids ages 6-13 play tackle football, compared to just 2,000 NFL players. “Nobody expected to see hits of this magnitude,” said lead researcher Stefan Duma.Mr. Phillips brought the results to our attention, he wrote, “because I played football through college, had a couple of concussions and believe this issue is of importance to millions of families.”
Which echoes what Jean Fugett, the former Dallas Cowboys tight end, said about young boys playing football in Saturday’s column: “I don’t think anyone should play tackle football before high school. Kids’ bodies are not ready.”