Posted: 9:35 pm Saturday, October 23rd, 2010

Head injuries in youth football: Concussions alarm parents 

By Post Staff

Almost before she knows it, Lisa McHale will have two sons entering high school. In many families like hers, that would be a time for helmets and pads and Friday night lights. The boys’ father, Tom, after all, spent nine seasons in the NFL, finishing his career in 1995 as a guard for the Dolphins.

But young Matthew and Michael won’t be taking up their father’s sport.

Whatever football dreams they may have once had appear to be waning, Lisa says, and even if she hears occasional nagging, she refuses to let them play.

Two years ago, at 45, Tom died of what was ruled an accidental combination of oxycodone and cocaine. The latter years of his life were marred by pain and painkillers, but it wasn’t until his autopsy that Lisa learned that repeated blows to his head caused a condition called chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE.

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