The Cassidy Law Firm Blog

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Concussion Rates Higher Among Youth Football Players Than Suspected

What are the long term repercussions of concussions in children?

Researchers across the country have turned much focus and attention to the colossal problem of concussions among football players.  While significant funding has been dedicated to the investigation of concussions among pro-football players, now researchers are further exploring the epidemic of concussions among younger players.  A new study by the Seattle Children’s Research Institute and UW Medicine’s Sports Health and Safety Institute suggests that youth football players suffer concussion injuries at higher rates than previously reported. Our New Jersey personal injury lawyers detail the findings of this new study and the risks of childhood concussions below.

Five Percent of Young Football Players Are Concussed Each Season

The team study, which was published in the Journal of Pediatrics, used data collected during two different ten-week fall football seasons conducted with the Northwest Junior Football League.  Athletic trainers were present to treat and record concussions sustained by the young players.  Researchers also recorded how often players suffered concussions and what factors may have increased the risk of injury. 

Researchers found that the overall concussion rate among kids between the ages of five and fourteen was five out of ten, or five percent, each football season. Specifically, the athletic trainers identified 51 football related concussions during the two seasons out of 893 young players.  Two-thirds of these concussions were sustained during games, as opposed to warm ups or drills, and half happened as the result of head-to-head contact.  Kids with a history of concussions were found to have two times the risk of suffering a subsequent concussion.  Additionally, children with depression were five times more likely to experience a concussion.

Long-Term Effects of Concussions

Previously, concussions were thought to be isolated events that children bounced back from relatively quickly.  Now, however, doctors and researchers are finding that concussions, especially severe or repeated ones, can have a long-term impact on a child. Children who experience a concussion may go on to suffer from sleep disturbances, attention issues, learning problems, and emotional control issues.  Some of these problems will resolve as the brain heals, but at times the still developing brain of the child could be permanently altered.  Parents should be aware of the risks to young players and be on the alert for injuries.

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