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Young Atheletes at Risk

By on February 27, 2011

High school athletes are four times more likely to suffer a concussion today than they were about a decade ago, with football players  leading the pack! This puts the athlete at risk of severe consequences, like bleeding inside the skull and potentially death, though that’s rare. Sports concussions cause an average of 1.5 deaths per year, and most of these are due to a second concussion, according to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons.

The author of the study, Andrew Lincoln, leads the Sports Medicine Center at Union Memorial Hospital in Baltimore. He claims the increase in concussions are likely the result of multiple factors.

“Certainly the recognition of signs and symptoms of concussion have increased dramatically among the players, coaches, athletic trainers and physicians,” he told Reuters Health. “Also, there’s the issue of players performing better, getting stronger and getting faster.”

The researchers recorded the number of concussions at 25 public schools from 1997 to 2008, in six different sports each for girls and boys. In August 2010, the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Council on Sports Medicine and Fitness suggested that kids with concussions get cleared by a doctor before they head back onto the field.  Right now doctors don’t know how best to manage concussion and how to make decisions on when it’s safe for a kid to return to play,” he said. “That’s an area in research that’s greatly needed.”

If you suspect you or a young athelete has a concussion see a doctor immediately. Common symptoms include confusion, nausea, blurred vision, headache, and even loss of short term memory.

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