Fourteen can be a time of total transformation. It is an age when gangly adolescent limbs may morph into lithe, stronger ones. It is when the first signs of adulthood — breasts, hair (on faces and other places) — start cropping up.
Fourteen is also the soonest any child should be tackling on a football field, heading a soccer ball, or body checking an opponent on an ice hockey rink, according to a leading concussion expert.
“If kids don’t have axillary (underarm) or pubic hair, they aren’t ready to play,” said Dr. Robert Cantu, a neurosurgeon at Emerson Hospital in Massachusetts and author of a new book, “Concussion and Our Kids.”
“And I have absolutely no problem with parents who want to hold a child out for longer, say 16 or 18.”