It's a tough decision, and I totally get all the different viewpoints. I've always loved football, and I would never otherwise give advice on this topic unless asked, and you did.
There is alot of anecdotal, passive defensive and hidden emotional advice in this thread. It's pure Pinside. A bunch of middle aged men who have "been there and done that" saying "go ahead! Strap it up, have fun! Back in my day.....blah blah blah". This issue is bigger than that...and as a society we are only on the precipice...huge changes are on the horizon, and for good reason.
Quoted from Yoski:
Each concussion raises your risk of Alzheimer, stroke and other neurological problems by around 10% per incident depending on severity. Those are the straight up facts. Is it worth it? That's a very personal decision everybody has to figure out for themselves.
Yup. And it's not just the blows to the head that are of big concern. It's the repeated violent snapping movemeant of the head and neck on high impact hits, which sends the brain slamming back and forth against the sides of the head like a pinball between two slingshots.
Quoted from Methos:
It isn't the concussions that do the permanent damage. It's the repeated strikes/blows to the head. I was a school board member for a few terms and we had many meetings on the issue.
I would not allow my children to play football, but it's a personal choice.
See above. And it's everything with regard to brain damage. Concussions can and will do permanent damage. This is science people. Maybe not as conclusive as Climate Change science (that's for you Pinside) but pretty damn conclusive.
Quoted from Malenko:
I agree with vicjw66 , you cant live your life covered in bubble wrap. You aren't a monster. You did your due diligence and read up on the reports and discussed it with your wife then came to your decision; that's called great parenting.
I think the OP is worried and looking for a rationalization. He came to the right place. The OP is obviously a concerned father. Maybe you did enough due diligence and maybe you didn't OP. At this point, what's your gut tell you?
Quoted from Malenko:
Football is safer today than it was 20 years ago but I'm not going to dispute that there is still risk.
Wow, big of you to admit there's "still a risk". What are you basing your "football is safer today" statement on? I'll give you an opportunity to answer before I go off on that.
Is this the best you can do?
I love this answer. Thank you.
Quoted from woody76:
as long as he enjoys it let him play. I am so tired of the world looking at the downside of everything. I played football myself and have friends that played all the way up through college with zero effects, mental or physical.
Because me and my friends are OK, what's the problem? The "downside" you refer to didn't exist until we had the evidence that there was a downside. Before that we were ignorant. And the evidence is unequivocal and heartbreaking. Taking the "downside" into account isn't being pessimistic, it's being informed. And making informed decisions shouldn't be criticized any way.
Quoted from Chisox:
This is another good point. I know a LOT of guys who played football through college without any noticeable consequences. I understand it's difficult to argue with science, but I haven't run across anyone in real life (my life) that this has affected. Again, hoping the baseball bug takes over.
Even if that's true it's anecdotal. Do you really know if they ever forget things? Or get confused? Absorb and retain information the way they used to? Would you - or they - even know how to measure one way or the other?
All that said, I still might let my son play HS football if he really wanted to. But I very well might not too. I have 2 years to decide, and I will be doing my due diligence.