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Concussions Can Occur in All Youth Sports

from The New York Times

This article quotes ACSM Fellow Steven P. Broglio.

Recent attention to long-term brain damage linked to multiple concussions among professional football players has prompted a much closer look at how children and adolescents who participate in sports can be protected from similar consequences.

And with good reason. The young brain is especially susceptible to concussion, and sports-related concussions account for more than half of all emergency room visits by children aged 8 through 13, according to the National Athletic Trainers’ Association. A child who suffers a concussion is one and a half times more likely to experience another, and those who have had two concussions have a threefold greater risk of the same injury happening again.

Many parents wonder if it is wise to let their children participate in sports like football and soccer, in which head injuries are most common. Concerns about concussion have been cited as a reason for a decline in enrollment in Pop Warner, the country’s largest youth football program.

At the same time, misconceptions among parents and coaches abound about the seriousness of concussions and how best to prevent them, especially for players who often think they are invincible and say they feel fine so they can get back in the game. Studies have found that more than 50 percent of high school athletes and 70 percent of college athletes failed to report concussions they had sustained while playing football. more


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