Some childhood injuries only require a cool dinosaur bandage and a few kisses to make it all better. But, there are a few types of injuries that can have lasting effects on your child’s brain development, the kind that you hope never happens to your child.
A TikTok video featuring a neurologist mama went viral last year for the list of things that she says she would never let her kids do, thanks to the potential for risk involved. And some of them might be a little surprising.
The video’s creator, @zenfuldoctor, starts with, “There are four things I would never let my kids do as a neurologist and neuroscientist because they can kill a lot of brain cells or just straight up kill you.”
“Number one play American football. You can get a lot of concussions, head injuries and this can lead to chronic traumatic encephalopathy.”
If there’s one thing I remember from high school, it’s that I couldn’t attend school football games because of the cringe factor. Seeing the players slam into each other and, sometimes, end up on the ground waiting for paramedics to help them up, was not and is not something I can stand to watch. Youth sports can be dangerous no matter what the sport is and injuries are part and parcel for participating but, this is without a doubt one sport I would never let my kids do either!
“Number two ride ATVs. Again, it’s a hard no,” she says.
“Number three have a trampoline or jump on trampolines outside. Fall off hit their head on the ground, again you can get concussions and head-based injuries.”
And, lastly she adds, “Number four shoot a gun. There’s just no need. Again, it can just straight up kill you.”
While this isn’t exactly a parenting advice video, it’s more just an explainer of what this particular mom, based on her job experience, wouldn’t want her kids doing, it might a little eye-opening.
According to the Mayo Clinic, a recent study, published in Pediatric Emergency Care, found that there were more than 800,000 child injuries “sustained from trampolines” between 2009 and 2018 in the US. Plus, most of those injuries were in cases where the child was under 16 years old.
When it comes to gun-related deaths, it’s not just mass shootings like the elementary school tragedy in Uvalde, Texas. Now, gun violence is the leading cause of death among young people in the US. This includes the heartbreaking statistic of rising adolescent suicide-by-gun rate.
The video, which as been shared thousands of times, has garnered a lot of attention. The comments seem to agree with these rules as well.
“Having a son who survived gun violence and was on the brain injury floor – almost every guy there was injured by an ATV. If ppl could only see.
“The most major broken bone I ever had was when I fell off my trampoline as a kid. I broke my elbow in HALF and had to get screws. Awful
“now i understand why the kids from my neighborhood who had a neurosurgeon for a dad weren’t allowed on our trampoline lol.”
A version of this story was originally published on Dec. 14, 2022. It has been updated.