(ABC) - Since 2008, the number of high school boys participating in football has steadily dropped, almost 5%, in a sport that used to add players every year.
Meanwhile, news reports about tackle football and brain injuries began to go up around 2008, and research published in JAMA Pediatrics connects the two.
After all, participation in other high school sports hasn’t dipped, just the sport most publicly linked to brain damage.
Team sports and exercise are great for teens in so many ways but football is now seen as a bigger health risk.
Researchers say that without more long term studies, we won’t be able to understand if tackle football is a good idea for kids, or a public health risk.
And until we do, it’s clear that some parents are deciding that they want their sons to consider a different sport.