Almost Half of Parents Worry About Kids Playing Football
But only 5% discourage their kids from playing
By Jenn Gidman, Newser Staff
Posted Aug 28, 2014 12:15 PM CDT
Children wait as Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson signs autographs after an NFL football camp practice on July 29, 2014, in Renton, Wash.   (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

(Newser) – Almost half of parents have concerns about their kids playing football, but according to a new AP-GfK poll, they're not exactly yanking their offspring off the field in the kind of droves that will "kill pro football." Some 44% of parents were "not comfortable" letting their child punt and pass the pigskin, but only 5% said they had actually "discouraged" their kids from playing over the last two years, reports the AP. The majority of the 1,044 adults interviewed for the poll said they didn't have a problem with their kids playing most other sports, including baseball, basketball, and soccer—though the New York Times reports that FIFA was sued yesterday by a group of soccer parents and players over its handling of concussions.

Feeding into parents' fears are high-profile deaths of pros like Junior Seau and a pending class-action settlement that would pay "thousands of former NFL players for concussion-related claims," notes But the National Federation of State High School Associations says that participation in high school football actually rose last year, after four straight years of losses. One possible explanation: With the NFL and NCAA finally acknowledging the seriousness of head injuries in the league, and college teams testing the next generation of head protection, some parents are feeling better about their kids on the field. "There's a lot of publicity on [concussions] now … I'm not as worried," one parent tells the AP.

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Aug 30, 2014 5:05 PM CDT
Wonderful game. The purist of team sports. I played. My kids played. We all love the game. Injuries are a part of all contact sports. Stick to golf, tennis and swimming if worried about injuries.
Aug 28, 2014 6:53 PM CDT
My 9 year old nephew's Dad played baseball in school and got a scholarship for golf. He's still playing golf professionally, injury free, after all these years, unlike his brothers who can't do much of anything athletic thanks to their school football injuries. The boy is very athletic himself, plays four sports, but the one sport Mom and Dad won't let him play is football. My nephew's parents only had to look in their own family to see the dire consequences of football injuries. Three of the boy's uncles played football from an early age and each has had life altering injuries from the sport. 2 of the brothers were badly injured playing in high school and couldn't play in college. The third one was nearly crippled during college team play and lost his football scholarship. Today the football playing brothers have bad hips, bad knees and one has obvious brain injury syndrome, probably from repeated concussions.
Aug 28, 2014 4:25 PM CDT
Hot Damn! The real games start tonight. The only bad thing about football season is you know summer is over. Well, except in South Florida.