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Howard G. Smith, M.D. is a former radio medical editor and talk show host in the Boston Metro area.  His "Medical Minute" of health and wellness news and commentary was a regular weekday feature on WBZ-AM, WRKO-AM, and WMRE-AM.   His popular two-way talk show, Dr. Howard Smith OnCall, was regularly heard Sunday morning and middays on WBZ.

More recently, Dr. Smith has adopted the 21st century technology of audio and video podcasting as conduits for the short health and wellness reports, HEALTH NEWS YOU SHOULD USE.  Many of these have video versions, and they may be found on his YouTube page:

Trained at Harvard Medical School and a long-time faculty member at Boston Children’s Hospital, he practiced Pediatric Otolaryngology for 40 years in Boston, Southern California, and in central Connecticut.

If you have questions or suggestions about this content, please email the doctor at or leave him a message at 516-778-8864.  His website is:

Please note that the news, views, commentary, and opinions that Dr. Smith provides are for informational purposes only.  Any changes that you or members of your family contemplate making to lifestyle, diet, medications, or medical therapy should always be discussed beforehand with personal physicians who have been supervising your care.

Apr 11, 2019


The majority of American parents believe that young children should not be playing tackle football.  A study recently published in the journal Pediatrics tabulated the results of a nationwide survey.

Over 1000 parents completed the survey.  Sixty-one percent definitely favored restrictions and another 24% were leaning toward bans on tackling for younger children for a total of 85% considering restrictions.

Meanwhile, on the political front, a 6 states have proposed bills to regulate tackle football for children under the age of 12.  Bills have been filed in New York, Illinois, California, Maryland, New Jersey, and Massachusetts.  So far none of them have passed into law, and the bills in California and Illinois have been withdrawn.  The New York and Maryland bills were defeated.

Finally, consider these two facts.  ONE. The sad cases of adolescent athletes and multiple studies show that head injuries produce lasting and in some cases progressive damage to the brain, particularly to the developing brain, that lead to premature dementia and psychosis.  TWO. Many NFL stars never played tackle football until they were in high school including Tom Brady, Jim Brown, Walter Peyton, Jerry Rice, Anthony Munoz, and Lawrence Taylor.

Flag and touch football are alternatives to tackle.  Studies suggest, though, that they may not be safer unless player contact is strictly prohibited and protective gear is worn.

Sara P.D. Chrisman, Kathryn B. Whitlock, Emily Kroshus, Christina Schwien, Stanley A. Herring, Frederick P. Rivara.  Parents’ Perspectives Regarding Age Restrictions for Tackling in Youth Football

Pediatrics Apr 2019, e20182402; DOI: 10.1542/peds.2018-2402

#Football #tackle #concussion, headinjury #flagfootball #parenting