Preventing Concussions In Youth Football

On any given Friday night or weekend, many young athletes are suiting up for football game day. Youth sports help boost confidence, teach teamwork and keep kids healthy. Unfortunately, youth football does come with a certain level of risk.

Concussions, in particular, are a major concern for athletes, parents, coaches, and organizations with 5 out of every 100 young players suffering from this type of head injury every year.

So, what can you do to promote safe play and help protect players from a serious injury on the field?

Keep reading for more information on using the right equipment and safety protocol to keep kids safe this football season.

Concussion Statistics

According to the CDC, youth tackle football is one of the most dangerous of youth sports.

In fact, athletes between the ages of 6 and 14 are 15 times more likely to experience head impact during a game or practice.

These same athletes are 23 times more likely to sustain a hard hit to the head.

On average, youth tackle football players will encounter over 378 head impacts per season. That’s just one player!

The most serious, and common, type of head injury is a concussion. When a child’s brain is jostled inside their skull, it can have short-term and long-term effects.

Immediate symptoms and signs of a youth football concussion include:

  • Headache
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Confusion/disorientation
  • Sensitivity to light and sound
  • Trouble concentrating


In most cases, these symptoms subside within a few days of adequate rest and limited screen time. Not all concussions heal this easily. Long-term effects can last several years following the incident and include:

  • Atrophy
  • Abnormal brainwaves
  • Deterioration of the nerves that control motor functions


As these young athletes grow and progress into upper-level sports, including college football, concussions become even more damaging. After multiple head injuries, some athletes exhibit the same characteristics as patients with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Protecting children playing youth sports now has never been more important.

Tips for Safe Youth Football 

Since young football players are at the greatest risk of injury, including concussions, you must take the necessary steps to protect their bodies and wellbeing. Not every injury can be predicted or prevented. Even with the best safety measures in place, injuries are a part of youth sports – especially youth football. If a child gets hurt while on the football field, accident and health insurance coverage can help ease the family’s worry and financial stress over medical bills and make them whole again. Teams can cover all their players with a group sports accident policy or parents can choose to cover their children individually.  Either option is a great way to help avoid expensive medical bills that can result from sports injuries. 

Football Tackling Techniques and Training Have Improved

Football player safety starts with learning the proper techniques and rules for safe play. Even with the right protective gear (more on this in a minute), football players that don’t follow the rules put themselves and others at risk.

Make sure all members of the coaching staff are properly trained in player safety.

New guidelines set forth by the NFL and youth athletic associations are banning certain drills and enforcing new penalties. Contact is limited both during practice and games.

Pop-up kicks, blindside blocks, and targeting are no longer permitted in youth sports. Coaches are also teaching players how to keep their head out of the game to reduce the number of head and neck injuries — including concussions.


Coaches are also teaching a new way to tackle that does away with the old technique of using your head as an extra limb. Penalizing players and coaches who don’t follow these safety protocols will hopefully deter others from following suit.


Even with the right techniques and training, coaches and players can’t control every move made out on the playing field. The proper safety equipment protects young athletes from hard hits, tackles, and missteps.

The most important piece of equipment any football player wears is their helmet. Designed to protect the head and neck from shock and injury, helmets should be worn during all practices and games.

Helmet-to-helmet contact was recently banned in the NFL to reduce the risk of serious injury, including concussions. The same rule applies to youth sports. A helmet-to-helmet hit is considered a form of targeting.

Pads are another important piece of safety equipment for football players. Shoulder, hip, tail, and knee pads help protect a player’s extremities during contact with other players and the ground. Proper cleats help with traction, preventing slips and falls.

Do Mouthguards Prevent Youth Football Concussions?

Mouthguards protect the child’s teeth and face from impact and can lessen the blow on the child’s brain during a collision in football. There doesn’t seem to be conclusive proof that wearing a mouthguard will prevent a concussion, but it can help limit the severity of a potential blow to the head area.

What to Do When A Youth Football Injury Happens

You’ve taken all the right steps to ensure player safety, but an injury happens despite your best efforts. Now what?

Having the proper group accident and health insurance plan in place will prevent a bad situation from getting worse. That’s why youth football insurance is important to have for your child or for the team at large. 

Putting Safety First in Youth Sports Football

With roughly 45 million children currently involved in youth sports, promoting safe play is a must for continued enrollment and success.

Help protect players by following proper safety protocol and investing in an accident and health insurance plan from pomi.


These posts are for informational purposes only and should not be considered as specific financial, legal or tax advice. Depending on your individual circumstances, the strategies discussed in this post may not be appropriate for your situation. Always consult your legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. In providing such information, Great American does not warrant that all potential hazards or conditions have been evaluated or can be controlled. The liability of Great American Insurance Company is limited to the terms, limits and conditions of the insurance policies underwritten. ©2024 Great American Insurance Company. All Rights Reserved. Great American Insurance Group’s member companies are subsidiaries of American Financial Group, Inc. (AFG). AFG is a holding company whose common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Policies are underwritten by Great American Insurance Company, an authorized insurer in all 50 states and the DC. Please see Great American Insurance Company’s Legal Disclosures/Terms and Conditions here.

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