How can my child avoid a head injury in football?

Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
There's no doctor in North America who'd say football is risk-free. Turns out most football head injuries happen in practice from smaller, more repetitive hits. That's why the medical advisers at Pop Warner—the largest youth football organization in the U.S. with more than 425,000 kids—introduced a rule to limit contact drills to one-third of practice time. They've also banned full-speed contact drills between players more than 3 yards apart.

These rules are a step in the right direction and can help change football's head-banging culture from the bottom up, but you need to actively work with the coaches to make sure they limit contact drills and use the best and latest protective equipment. (There's a mouth guard that provides extra protection against concussions.) Be sure that after age 5, you give kids 200mg a day of DHA omega-3. DHA is the key fat that builds and repairs brain tissue.

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