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Sports Related Injuries and Deaths, Do They Freak You Out?

Posted by on Aug. 20, 2013 at 1:14 PM
  • 9 Replies

High School Kid Dies During Football Game, But Moms Shouldn't Freak Out

by Jeanne Sager

De'Antre TurmanParents of young football players everywhere are questioning letting their kids go out for the sport after a tragedy in Georgia. Teenager De'Antre Turman, a star football player at Creekside High School who was already being scouted by college teams, died during a football scrimmage on Friday night. The healthy 16-year-old was making a tackle when onlookers said his body went limp.

In an instant, De'Antre was gone, his neck broken.

The story of the young boy's death has quickly gone viral, and understandably so.

No one wants to see this happen to their child, and with an estimated one million kids playing high school football in America, the Turman family's tragedy is one that hits home in a lot of households.

For at least a few moments, after I read about De'Antre's story, I'll admit I breathed a sigh of relief that my daughter is not particularly athletic, and that the sport she does play -- soccer -- does not involve a lot of contact (at least not at the AYSO level).

It's a reaction I'm sure a fair amount of parents had. Others, parents of kids who do have an interest in football or whose kids are already playing the sport, are debating pulling their kids away.

No one wants this to be their child.

And yet? A reality check, if I may?

There's no reason to change anything you're doing, at least not if you're already following proper safety precautions with your football playing kids.

Do they wear pads? Helmets? Follow the rules? Then don't worry.

Accidents like the one that claimed the life of an otherwise healthy 16-year-old boy on Friday night are rare. According to the data, there are approximately four fatalities a year directly related to football -- and those cover every level from sandlot play to high school to college to the NFL. The rate of direct fatalities in high school (grades 9-12) was 0.18 per 100,000 participants.

That's low.


Every single death is tragic, yes. My heart breaks for De'Antre's family.

But simply because one child died playing football doesn't mean we need to pull every kid out of the sport. Your kid is much more likely to be killed in a car accident (motor vehicle accidents are the LEADING cause of death for kids 3 to 14 in the US) than fatally injured on the football field. When was the last time you considered banning your kid from riding in cars?

Never, huh?

This is one of the hard parts of being a parent. Sometimes our kids do things that carry some risk, and we have to just let them do it so they can actually have joy in their lives, so they can grow as people. It's not easy, and stories like De'Antre's make it even harder, but we can't parent with kneejerk reactions. We have to parent with common sense, with the ability to look at the facts and measure out what's right.

Do you let your kids play football? Will this tragedy change that?

by on Aug. 20, 2013 at 1:14 PM
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Replies (1-9):
by Susie on Aug. 20, 2013 at 1:26 PM
I have girls. I still think it is a very rare occurance.
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by on Aug. 20, 2013 at 1:39 PM

It's a concern, but doesn't cause me to loose sleep at night.

by Silver Member on Aug. 20, 2013 at 3:41 PM
It doesn't concern me at all. My oldest does martial arts and takes head and body shots all the time. Accidents will happen but we take appropriate precautions.

My younger two do gymnastics and have a risk for falls and back or neck injury. I trust the trainers and have only had one minor sprain to DD in 2 years.
by Silver Member on Aug. 20, 2013 at 5:04 PM

Yes my kids play high impact sports and no I would not ban them from playing. I worry as any mother does but accidents happen, thats why we call them accidents

by on Aug. 20, 2013 at 6:00 PM

There are pads that go around the helmet that help protect the neck.  When my boys played football we had a few kids taken off the field by ambulence every season, legue wide. 

by on Aug. 20, 2013 at 6:05 PM
I'm not big into football but I live in Williamsport so Little League baseball is a big thing here and every year there are injuries that could be potentially life threatening. As long aas children have to right protection and are using it correctly I see no reason to deprive my child of a chance to play a sport. Parents know there are risks going in, but they do their best to protect their children and allow them to have fun.
by Emily on Aug. 20, 2013 at 6:37 PM

 No mine did not play football.It was due to me.When I was in seventh grade...jr high was 7 -9 ,I watched the older brother of one on my best friends get tackled wrong.He was paralyzed from the neck down and died due to pneumonia and other issues during high school.I know it's a bit irrational but I had spent the Sat night before at her house and then it was forever different.

I realize it is irrational ,my teens have all played and still pay LAX ,my oldest is on temporary medical retirement  from the Army while still working on his physical injuries received during deployment.He may go back and I will NOT grab his legs screaming no, no, no as he gets on the plane...I fantasize doing that.So I know some fears are irrational but there ya go.

by Bronze Member on Aug. 20, 2013 at 6:58 PM

Injuries happen no matter what sport you participate in. Some very minor some catastrophic. The coaches and trainers of these atheletes do there very best to teach them the proper way to hit to fall to tackle extra.

When my DD was in grade 12 a young football player in the district had his neck broken during a game. I remember this hitting the kids hard as that was the yr they decieded to change the divisions in the district. The districts previously had been based on skill and level of play, they changed to school size. this player was injured because his team was being far out played and in actuality shuldn't of been playing the team they were. The next yr the old divisions were put back in place.

I can name numerous sports that can result in injuries not just football. Lax, Hockey,Soccarheck injuries even happen in track and field. I think pulling kids from sports because they might get hurt is just fear mongering and you need to let them go.

The only sport I veto'd in my house was box lax for DD as there was no girls team and she was 80 pounds soaking wet and 4'10 at 13. The boys team was just too bloody big at the time and with body checking she would of been sailing all over the place.  That being said she played floor hockey and flag football instead. She also does pick up Lax all the time and comes home with very pretty bruises all over her from both the balls and the sticks.

by Silver Member on Aug. 20, 2013 at 7:10 PM

My ds is a sophmore and plays football, lacrosse and hockey.  I worry about him getting hurt, but I worry when he rides his bike, and now in drivers ed, drives.  It would not stop me from letting him live!!   Life is dangerous.  He has had two concussions, one just ice skating, taking a bad step and fell backwards and once skiing. We also have had sprained ankles from tennis, that was so bad that it took her out for the whole season.  We also have had broken ribs and fingers from martial arts.  I busted out my front teeth, hurt my back, knees and ankle from a bicycling accident.  Things happen. 

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