Doctor won't let son play football due to concussion concerns

- A mother and physician from Manhattan says she won't let her 12-year-old son move on to tackle football due to concerns over concussions.

With head injuries getting more attention from health professionals and the NFL, similar sentiments from parents across the country could explain a dip in the number of children participating in high school football over the past five years.

Dr. Dyan Hes, a pediatrician who lives in Murray Hill, tells the NY Post that she has seen first-hand the negative impact concussions can have in the long term.

“My biggest fear is that he will get a concussion, and it will interfere with his brain development, his studies and his enjoyment of other sports,” Hes told the Post.

Head injuries and concussions are happening now more than ever among young athletes.

Some 45 million kids play organized sports every year and close to 4 million of them will suffer from a concussion, according to the latest numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Her son, Dean Zilbeman, has been playing flag football but that's where his playing ambitions will end.

Dr. Hes is not alone in putting the breaks on her child's football playing.

Football participation for 5- to 15-year-olds in tackle football dropped 10 percent from 2010 through 2012, according to Pop Warner, the country’s biggest youth football program.

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