Head impacts and concussions caused by contact sports are a quickly growing epidemic among young athletes. When left undetected, concussions can result in long-term brain damage and may even prove fatal.
To preserve the young athlete’s head health, mental cognition and ability to succeed, it is critical that coaches, players and parents are aware of the inherent dangers and how to properly perform a concussion evaluation.
CDC reports show that the amount of reported concussions has doubled in the last 10 years. The American Academy of Pediatrics has reported that emergency room visits for concussions in kids ages 8 to 13 years old has doubled, and concussions have risen 200 percent among teens ages 14 to 19 in the last decade.
While the first hit can prove problematic, the second or third head impact can cause permanent long-term brain damage. Cumulative sports concussions are shown to increase the likelihood of catastrophic head injury leading to permanent neurologic disability by 39 percent.
High school football accounts for 47 percent of all reported sports concussions, with 33 percent of concussions occurring during practice. After football, ice hockey and soccer pose the most significant head health risk.
Without medical professionals present to assess the head impact or impact measurement data to review, head health management standards decline. Athletes are left vulnerable and ill-equipped without information readily available about their own health.
Sports Concussion Statistics:
3,800,000 concussions reported in 2012, double what was reported in 2002
33% of all sports concussions happen at practice
39% — the amount by which cumulative concussions are shown to increase catastrophic head injury leading to permanent neurologic disability
47% of all reported sports concussions occur during high school football
1 in 5 high school athletes will sustain a sports concussion during the season
33% of high school athletes who have a sports concussion report two or more in the same year
4 to 5 million concussions occur annually, with rising numbers among middle school athletes
90% of most diagnosed concussions do not involve a loss of consciousness
An estimated 5.3 million Americans live with a traumatic brain injury-related disability (CDC)
Concussion Rates per Sport
The below numbers indicate the amount of sports concussions taking place per 100,000 athletic exposures. An athletic exposure is defined as one athlete participating in one organized high school athletic practice or competition, regardless of the amount of time played.
Football: 64 -76.8
Boys’ ice hockey: 54
Girl’s soccer: 33
Boys’ lacrosse: 40 – 46.6
Girls’ lacrosse: 31 – 35
Boys’ soccer: 19 – 19.2
Boys’ wrestling: 22 – 23.9
Girls’ basketball: 18.6 – 21
Girls’ softball: 16 – 16.3
Boys’ basketball: 16 – 21.2
Girls’ field hockey: 22 – 24.9
Cheerleading: 11.5 to 14
Girls’ volleyball: 6 – 8.6
Boys’ baseball: Between 4.6 – 5
Girls’ gymnastics: 7
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