This week's best of MomsTeam.com, a website devoted to health and safety issues in youth sports:
- Role models are hidden in our everyday lives and neighborhoods, you just have to find them, wrote MomsTeam blogger and football mom Gretchen Rose. In her new blog entry, Rose reported on her interview with Margaret Stafford, mother of Detroit Lions quarterback, Matthew. Margaret explains that she was able to keep her son grounded after he became a star at the University of Georgia and in the National Football League by teaching him to be confident, but not to feel entitled. With his Dallas neighbors and the rest of the nation watching, Gretchen said Stafford has matured as an NFL quarterback and as a person. He continues to be defined by his quiet, humble confidence both on and off the field.
- We live in an age in which people tend to increasingly gravitate towards opposite ends of the spectrum in their opinions on just about anything. Football is no exception, with a small but vocal minority urging parents to find another sport for their child to play, and others extolling its many benefits while minimizing its risks. No wonder it is so hard for someone occupying the reasonable, pragmatic, proactive, middle to be heard above the maddening crowd, said MomsTeam founder and publisher Brooke de Lench. De Lench's new PBS documentary, "The Smartest Team," seeks to do that by providing to football programs, from Pee Wee to high school, an audio-visual blueprint for making "America's game" safer.
- The number of emergency department (ED) visits for sports-related traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) has risen over the past 10 years, but the percentage of admissions has remained unchanged at about 10 percent, according to a new study by researchers at Cincinnati Children's Hospital. While football, as the most popular youth and high school sport in the country, accounted for the largest percentage of ED visits and admissions, skateboarding/roller blading, sledding and skiing had the highest admission rates per patients seen in the ED for TBI. The study also reported a welcome trend towards admitting children with less severe TBI, which experts say may reflect a more cautious approach to management of brain injuries involving greater emphasis on in-patient observation to watch for signs of a serious brain injury, less routine use of CT and MRI scans, and less reliance on parents to observe their children for such signs at home in borderline cases.
- Taking a few days off from school to allow for complete physical and cognitive rest is usually enough to allow most athletes to return to class with no problems, but for those who are still experiencing difficulties with memory, concentration and reasoning, returning to the classroom with academic accommodations (extra time for tests, extensions on homework) may be necessary, said Dr. William P. Meehan, director of the Sports Concussion Clinic at Boston Children's Hospital.
- Since the Jerry Sandusky case, many have jumped on the bandwagon to address child sexual abuse in sports. The problem is that we are still not seeing the issue as the abuse of power that it is, said Katherine Starr, the founder of Safe4Athletes, a non-profit organization dedicated to fighting sexual abuse of athletes.
-- MomsTeam.com and NFLEvolution.com