American football 'safer than it's ever been' says former team doctor

The damaging effects of concussions in American football have been receiving a lot of attention lately, with officials coming under fire for not taking the risks seriously enough.

It is expected that more than a quarter of retired NFL players will suffer from some sort of dementia in their lifetime. That's twice as likely as someone who doesn't play the sport.

But neurosurgeon Dr Julian Bailes told the BBC's Katty Kay that although she is worried about the damaging effects from head injuries, he believes that the sport is "safer than it's ever been".

Bailes says that the league has made positive changes in the last few years, including reducing the amount of contact players have during practice, and that he is comfortable with his sons playing the game.

He is a former team physician for the Pittsburgh Steelers and currently the co-director of the NorthShore Neurological Institute.