Next Enrollment Deadline: May 03, 2024 For More Information Call 800-542-1553 Now.

Youth Concussions Experience Rapid Increase Since 2010

November 14, 2016
Read All News
Contact sports like football and rugby are known to be rough, but the game is getting more dangerous, according to the Blue Cross Blue Shield. In a study released by the Health of America Report, kids ages 10-19 experienced a 71 percent increase in sports-related concussions since 2010. Concussion rates varied state by state, but the overall head injury risk for American youth peaked in the fall. This may be due to the type of sports played during that season, including football, rugby and soccer. Blue Cross Blue Shield notes that children ages 10-19 are at the highest risk for concussions – they are five times more likely to get a head injury than all other age groups combined. Additionally, boys experience twice the concussion risk than girls. “The intent of this report is to document concussion diagnosis rates and increase awareness,” the report stated, “[This study] could help inform policy and concussion treatment practices for school districts and medical professionals.” Of all 50 states, Massachusetts has the highest number of reported youth concussions. This prompted Mayor Joseph Curtatone to partner with the Concussion Legacy Foundation and CEO Chris Nowinski to raise awareness and “create a model city for youth sports safety.” The program will focus on educating the local community, especially schools, coaches and parents. “It’s important to me that we take all the necessary steps in preventing concussions in our youth athletes so that they stay healthy and safe as they develop their skills playing youth sports,” Curtatone said. Massachusetts isn’t the first state to introduce programming or legislation. Washington created the “Shake It Off Law” in 2009, which requires medical clearance for young athletes before returning to practices or playing in games. Gino Brogdon Jr., a personal injury attorney based in Atlanta, sees the “Shake It Off” law as a way to increase accountability. “The ‘Shake It Off’ laws can help hold coaches and doctors liable for not following proper head injury protocols before sending players back onto the field,” Brogdon Jr. said. Other states adopted similar legislation, but concussion risks still increased. Concussions, also known as mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI), occur when the brain experiences violent impact or shaking. Symptoms include headaches, difficulty concentrating, memory loss and and balance issues. A concussion can alter the brain’s chemical levels, and takes around a week to normalize. However, if an athlete returns to the field while concussed, a second impact could be fatal. Blue Cross Blue Shield researchers hope the study will further increase the public’s awareness on concussions, and debunk the idea of “shaking off” head injuries. “The study shows that there is more awareness about the seriousness of concussions,” said Dr. Trent Haywood, chief medical officer and senior vice president for Blue Cross Blue Shield, “But despite greater awareness and new protocols aimed at protecting young athletes, there is still a wide variability in the rate of concussions diagnosed from state to state.”
Apply Now Request More Info