Parents weigh contact sports concerns following Damar Hamlin collapse during Monday Night Football

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Tuesday, January 3, 2023
Parents weigh contact sports concerns in wake of Hamlin collapse
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Parents weigh in on if they'll allow their children to play contact sports, hours after Damar Hamlin collapsed during Monday Night Football.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- After watching a terrifying scene playing out with Buffalo Bill's football player Damar Hamlin suffering cardiac arrest in front of a national television audience during Monday Night Football, the issue of sports and injuries is top of mind for many parents.

In Raleigh, Craig Curtis, a father of six, said it was difficult to watch what was happening to Hamlin.

"I was upset and you couldn't blame it on a defensive player," Curtis said.

Curtis said he loved sports as a kid and recognizes it is a rite of passage for millions of Americans, but he points out he's relieved all his grown kids chose to skip out on contact sports.

"The only game they play is Madden, PlayStation 5, and PlayStation 4. That's all the contact they make," Curtis explained. Curtis said he suffered his own game-ending injury when he broke his leg playing football as a teen and that was enough for him not to push his kids into contact sports.

WATCH: NCSU basketball Coach Kevin Keatts reacts to Damar Hamlin health scare

Curtis isn't the only one who feels that way according to a Barrow Neurological Institute Concussion survey conducted before the pandemic in 2019. The study found only 65% of parents surveyed said they would allow their kids to play contact sports--including football, soccer, and basketball. The findings were a sharp drop from the two years prior. The survey found injuries, specifically concussion fears, driving the decline.

"Definitely you don't want to see your child or any other child hurt; you don't want to see another human get hurt," explained the mom of a 6-year-old Stacie Post.

"It's scary to see things like that happen and I think it definitely makes you second guess, you know, some of those decisions," Post added.

SEE ALSO: What are cardiac arrest, heart attack and heart failure?

Post said she plans to expose her son to low or no-contact sports, but if he wants to play contact sports down the road, it will be a decision she will make knowing the risk.

"It's definitely a conversation that we will have together," Post added.

"And you talk about the possibilities of things that could happen and kind of walk through that process. So it's not just putting it out there you can or no you can't. You know you want to have them think about it as well and try to guide that decision and make that decision together."