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Why we need to ‘seriously consider’ banning contact sport for kids

Article image for Why we need to ‘seriously consider’ banning contact sport for kids

A brain specialist says banning kids from contact sport needs to be seriously considered to avoid brain damage.

It comes amid growing research and concern about CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy) which again hit headlines after a study on former Richmond player Shane Tuck showed he had a severe case of CTE.

Associate Professor Michael Buckland from the Sports Brain Bank told Neil Mitchell evidence from America had shown a correlation between first exposure to head knocks to the eventual severity of CTE.

He said the Australian sporting community needed to seriously consider altering the rules of contact sports until those participating were teenagers.

“We need to have these conversations,” Associate Professor Buckland said.

Alarmingly, he said many people who had never even had a concussion may have CTE.

“It seems that the risk of CTE and severity of CTE is much better correlated to years of play, rather than the number of reported concussions,” Associate Professor Buckland explained.

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