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If there was one moment that led Kathleen Bachynski to a career studying the public health significance of sports injuries and violence, it was blowing out her knee in three places as a high school soccer player. After years of documenting the many ways that football in particular can harm young players, she’s got one rule: no full-body collision sports for kids.

On the “First Opinion Podcast” this week, Bachynski, an assistant professor of public health at Muhlenberg College and author of “No Game for Boys to Play: The History of Youth Football and the Origins of a Public Health Crisis,” discusses the risks taken by youths in one of the country’s most revered sports.

“Our narrative about sports safety doesn’t line up with the reality on the ground or the reality on the field,” Bachynski said. “And we have to take what’s actually happening on the field very seriously if we’re actually going to prevent these injuries.”


The conversation stems from a First Opinion by Bachynski and her colleagues Lisa Kearns and Arthur L. Caplan at the NYU Grossman School of Medicine entitled “Next boy up: Kids continue to die on high school football fields.”

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