LOWELL (CBS) – Tackle football isn’t safe for kids before high school, according to a slim majority of Americans in a new national poll.

The UMass Lowell-Washington Post poll released Tuesday shows 53-percent of those surveyed feel that tackle football is not a safe game for children younger than 13.

Forty-one percent believed it was safe.

But once kids reached high school, that number jumped to 57-percent.

Researchers interviewed 1,000 adults across the country for the survey.

helmet2 Football Not Safe For Kids Before High School? Poll Shows U.S. Divided


Eighty-three percent believed there is “settled science” proving that playing football causes brain injuries.

“As Americans become more aware of the long-term effects of head injuries and concussions in sports, their preferences about youth football reflect a public divided about whether the game continues to be a safe activity for children,” Prof. Joshua Dyck, co-director of UMass Lowell’s Center for Public Opinion said in a statement.

“The data also shows that fans of football and other sports are still largely supportive of children ages 10 and up participating in tackle football, but these views are not shared broadly across the American public.”

The same group was split when the topic changed to heading the ball in soccer before high school.

Forty-four percent believed it is safe and 44-percent do not.


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