PHOENIX (3TV/CBS5) -- A recent survey by the Barrow Neurological Institute is finding a decrease in the number of parents who are letting their kids play a contact sport.
Barrow defines contact sports as football, soccer, and basketball, and says only 65% of the Arizona parents who responded would let their children play one or more of those sports.
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An even lower percentage of parents would let their kids play football. Barrow says only 60% of Arizona parents that responded to their survey would allow their children to play the game.
This marks a steep decline over the past few years.
From 2016 to 2019, officials at Barrow say the number of parents who’d let their kids play football dropped by ten percent.
Experts at Barrow say this is due to an increased awareness of the risks of concussion. Still, they won’t tell parents what to do.
"If a parent comes up to me and asks should my child play this sport, or that sport, I'm going to leave that up to them,” said Dr. Javier Cárdenas, director of the Barrow Concussion and Brain Injury Center. “But if they say you know, it's not safe enough, we'll do our best to make it safer."
Cárdenas added that many sports also result in health benefits.
And parents like Christy Hart, whose son is a sophomore at Horizon High School in Paradise Valley, say the rewards of playing football outweighs the risks.
“Anything can happen in any game," says Hart.
She says she didn’t want to discourage her son from pursuing his passion.
"Yeah, concerns, but you've got to let your kids play," Hart said.
And Arizona’s student-athletes appear to be grasping the gravity of concussions.
Barrow says nine in ten students agree that a concussion is a serious health condition. Still, Barrow notes that one in four student-athletes say they’d play through a concussion if the state championship was on the line.