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Children Returning to Sports too Quickly after Suffering Concussions

Christine Eke3 years ago

Among young athletes from college-age down, there has developed a “culture of resistance” for reporting, and therefore properly treating, concussions, or complying with treatment plans. Expert panels have urged a more open communication, and many states have implemented laws addressing the issue.

Effects of Concussions on Young Athlestes

  • According to the Wall Street Journal, students who return to playing a sport too soon after a concussion risk another brain injury with worse consequences.
  • Medical experts looked at young athletes between the ages of 5 and 21 and concluded that female and male athletes with previous concussions have higher rates of sports related concussions.
  • A concussion results when the brain is jarred from being hit; this could affect memory, balance, judgment, and sleep patterns.
  • Concussion rates are higher in high school students than college; the sports with the highest rates for both male and female athletes are soccer and lacrosse.

What is Being Done to Increase Reporting of and Treating Concussions?

“The findings of our report justify the concerns about sports concussions in young people. However, there are numerous areas in which we need more and better data.” – Robert Graham, Aligning Forces for Quality and George Washington University in Washington D.C. as published by the Wall Street Journal

  • Doctors say it is important for parents of children who have had a concussion to keep their children from returning to practice or games until they have been seen by a doctor.
  • The panel said concussion treatment plans including both physical and mental rest are most beneficial; however, there is insufficient evidence to make specific recommendations on the type and length of rest. It is estimated that 90% of children recover from a concussion after about two weeks.
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have been called on to establish a national surveillance system for concussions as more research is needed on concussions among children younger than high-school age.
  • Most states have recently adopted laws involving concussion management in student athletes; many include removing students from a game when they are injured, and some require a doctor to sign off on athletes before returning to play—these laws only apply to high school sports, leaving little known information on injuries in younger athletes.
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