Repeated Concussions a Big Risk for Student-Athletes

As a chiropractor I believe in exercise, whether it’s aerobics, bike riding, or team sports. Keeping the body active keeps the body healthy and strong. However, when it comes to sports activies, it seems that sports injuries are inevitable among young and old alike. And, though many sports injuries can be very serious, I was especially happy to see that there is a current focus on concussions among young athletes who participate in school sports. The question people are asking is: Are schools doing enough to protect their student-athletes? Do you, as a parent, feel that your child is safe when participating in sports at school?  Many parents worry that their young athletes are at risk for serious sports injuries, especially concussions. In fact, the latest C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health found that nearly two-thirds of parents of young athletes between the ages 12 – 17 worry that their children will get a concussion while playing school sports.

To make matters worse, researchers have found that youth athletes are more likely to sustain concussions and to take longer to recover from concussions than adults. Furthermore, if a second concussion occurs before a child’s brain recovers from the first, there is a possibility of long-term neurologic conditions.

When surveyed, most parents indicated that they would strongly support school requirements, such as:

    * If a student-athlete sustained a concussion, he or she would need to be evaluated and cleared by a doctor before returning to sports – 84 percent

    * Coaches should to receive education about the risks of concussions

    * After a concussion there should be a mandatory period of non-participation in sports

    * A certified trainer should be on-site for practices and games

High school athletic organizations, injury prevention groups and professional sports leagues have become increasingly active in promoting policies to minimize the risks of repeat concussions among young athletes. But, let’s face it, parents are in a unique position to recognize concussion signs and symptoms that occur outside of school, and to work with coaches, trainers, and other health care personnel to ensure that their child is appropriately monitored throughout his or her recovery and return to play.

Source: University of Michigan Health System