US pediatricians call for tougher rule enforcement to reduce football injuries

BMJ 2015; 351 doi: (Published 27 October 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;351:h5726
  1. Michael McCarthy
  1. 1Seattle

US football coaches and game officials should improve the teaching of proper tackling techniques and enforce existing rules to reduce the incidence and severity of football injuries, the American Academy of Pediatrics has said in a policy statement released this week.1

In the statement, released on 25 October at the academy’s national conference in Washington, DC, the academy said that eliminating tackling from football would likely lead to a reduction in numbers of injuries but would also lead to a fundamental change in the way the game was played. “Participants in football must decide whether the potential health risks of sustaining these injuries are outweighed by the recreational benefits associated with proper tackling,” the academy said.

American football is an enormously popular sport, with more than 1.1 million high …

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