Three million children are involved in tackle football programs here in the United States. You have no doubt heard about the growing concerns related to kids, football, and the impact of concussions on their brains both in the short and long-term. Now, researchers at Wake Forest University are studying the impact of less-serious blows to the head and what they do to football players ages eight to thirteen. This is important research as the brain is in the middle of a particularly vulnerable stage of change during this period of life. MRIs on test subjects indicate that there are some changes in the brain’s white matter, which is the tissue that connects the gray matter of the brain. And the more exposure a boy had to head impacts, the greater the amount of change, even after only one season of playing youth football. While more research is needed to determine the long-term impact of non-concussive hits, parents are wise to consider the possible effects and safety of their sons. CPYU!