Is it safe for children to play contact sports?

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Is it safe for children to play contact sports?

Why do I think it is not a good idea for kids to play soccer? Soccer is definitely a contact sport. Sometimes we don´t think of it that way. We think of football being the contact sport, but kids now are using their heads frequently to hit the ball with their head, colliding with each other. And I know a lot of times people think it is not that bad hitting the ball with your head but the problem is your brain is very soft. It is like butter, tofu. And then you have bony ridges in your skull and when you have that impact, your brain hits against the skull. And it can cause tiny little brain bleeds, scar tissue later on and it can cause problems in your child´s learning, in their development, in the character maybe not right away but over time. And what happens is it also depletes the brain reserve. We all have a certain amount of brain reserve. And so the more we accumulate or have head traumas in these things that happen to us with our brain, the more it depletes that reserve and the more problems it can cause later. So it´s very important to pay attention to the things that your child is doing and try to decrease those activities that might cause them risk for head trauma and problems now and later in their life.

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Haley Figueroa, MA, LMFT

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist & Brain Health Educator

Haley provides patients at the world-renowned Amen Clinics with in-depth psycho-social assessments, brain health education, parenting courses and Marriage and Family Therapy counseling. She has more than a decade of experience working with children, adolescents, and their families in a variety of environments including school and clinical settings. Haley also has specialized training in conflict resolution, lifestyle and weight management, relationship enhancements, and parenting. Creator of My Baby is Christian, a learning and spiritual development system for young children, Haley has taught several courses at the Amen Clinics, including a 12-week Anxiety and Depression group, Love and Logic parenting, and Amen Clinic’s Two-Day Brain Health Course. She also authors a parenting blog. Haley earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Child and Adolescent Studies at California State University, Fullerton and a Master's Degree in Clinical Psychology, with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy, from Pepperdine University. A wife and mother of three, she is passionate about helping individuals and families reach their goals, enhance their relationships and achieve optimal brain health!

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