Children playing contact sports. It’s a touchy subject among parents who are constantly walking the fine line between keeping their kids safe and allowing them the freedom to do things they enjoy.
When it comes to Aussie Rules, concussion is the most common injury requiring hospitalisation. Almost just as concerning is that 50 per cent of the time concussions are asymptomatic, so they can't be managed properly by parents.
It’s a tough call, isn’t it?
Well, for Annie Nolan and her husband Liam Picken, it’s a decision they had to make after Liam’s own life was drastically altered by concussion.
In April 2019, Liam had to announce his retirement from AFL Football after the ongoing symptoms of four serious concussions proved too great a health risk to continue playing.
“I lived with a headache for virtually 18 months,” Liam told Mamamia.
“It was obviously very stressful and traumatic to finish playing like that and to have to go through rehabilitation with a young family, and not be able to live and work for two years.”
“What do they say about motherhood? Your heart is walking around outside of your body and you can try but you can’t really do all that much to fully protect it,” Annie shared.
With active prevention and education around head injuries being the key, their son does play footy.