(KYTX) - "You can't play it. You just cannot play it without expecting some injuries. Having said that, I think what our goal ought to be is to minimize, especially irreversible long-term injuries."
Dr. Charles Gordon is a neurosurgeon for Texas Spine and Joint hospital in Tyler. He says the most common type of permanent brain injuries are results of concussions. Dr. Gordon says helmet safety has improved over the years and coaches are stricter about handling injuries on the field.
"For instance, if a kid has a mild concussion, some coaches call it 'gets his bell rung,' that kid needs to sit out the rest of the game."
Grace football parent Rowdy Nutt says that's what coaches do on his son's team.
"They're very cautious about injuries that occur." he says. "And so, yeah they're going to pay attention and pull kids off."
A helmet on helmet hit, especially if it's intentional, can result in a penalty or even suspensions and fines at the NFL level.
"I'll just be candid." says Dr. Gordon. "My bias is that unless you're going to become a pro athlete, if you've a had a significant injury, it's probably best to go to a less dangerous sport. And, there are lots of those out there."
"Certainly, as a parent, I'm concerned." says Nutt. "I would never want anything to happen, not just to my son, but any of the athletes that are out there. But, you know, we just put it in God's hands and hope that they can go out there and just have a good time, and play injury-free, but there's no guarantees in life."