The Jeff and Ed Show
'Ban children from heading ball': Leading neuro-surgeon says impact of brain against the skull can cause damage
Playing football is one of the staples of childhood in Britain.
But a top neuro-science expert has now said youngsters should be banned from heading the ball because it is too dangerous.
Dr Michael Grey, a motor neuro-science expert at the University of Birmingham, says the impact of the brain against the skull causes damage.
Children’s neck muscles are not developed enough to handle the shock of impact, he said.
Several high profile doctors have warned about children heading footballs after scans have shown apparent damage to the brains of professional players.
However research and animal experiments have resulted in mixed findings.
Dr Grey told Sky News: ‘I do not think that children should stop sport, the obesity epidemic means we need to encourage them.
‘But we do need to look at rule changes and the way we train children.
‘Children should not be heading the ball. We don’t know at what age children’s necks become strong enough to withstand the movement of the head when the head is struck by the ball.
‘Some of my colleagues have suggested 14 but I really think it is individual. In addition the brain starts to shake and rotates when the head is struck by the ball.
‘The brain bounces back and forth and it is the impact of the brain against the inside of the skull causes additional damage.’