Concussions Among High School Athletes On the Rise
About the Concussion Study
The study, led by Dr. Joseph A. Rosenthal of Wexner Medical Center at The Ohio State University in Columbus, compiled data from a nationwide high school injury surveillance system that includes 100 schools.
Athletic trainers with those schools reported all injuries to player that occurred during practices or games through an electronic system on a weekly basis – certified trainers were to determine whether an athlete had suffered a concussion based on their own expertise.
Sports included in the study were boys’ football, boys’ soccer, boys’ basketball, boys’ baseball, boys’ wrestling, girls’ volleyball, girls’ soccer, girls’ basketball and girls’softball.
What the study found was that between 2005 and 2012, there were a total of 4,024 reported concussions among high school athletes entered into the data base. Further, the rate of concussion nearly doubled from 2006 to 2012, jumping from .23 per 1,000 kids to .52 per 1,000 kids.
The researchers were also able to determine that boys were most likely to suffer concussion while playing football, while girls most were most likely to suffer concussions during soccer. Concussions were least common in boys’ baseball.
“I don’t want to say that kids should be held back from competition, but I think parents and athletes need to be aware of the possibility of concussion and be able to recognize it and get the resources and recovery that they need.” – Dr. Joseph A. Rosenthal as published by Reuters
While Rosenthal says he does not want parents to be alarmed by the study, he claims that parent should take the time to understand the effects of concussion and realize that they can occur in sports other than football.
Parents should also be aware of the symptoms. While concussions are generally linked to loss of consciousness, but the fact is that fewer than 10 percent of sport related concussions involve the athlete blacking out.
Instead parents should look for symptoms like:
- Feeling of pressure in the head
- Slurred speech
- Delayed response to questions
- Ringing in the ears
By properly identifying a concussion and allowing for proper recovery, parent can greatly reduce the risk of their child suffering from chronic traumatic brain injuries.