Concussion Risk Affects Student Athletes of All Ages

Student Athlete Concussions
Concussions are often associated with professional level athletes, but the risk factors are present at any level of intense physical exercise. The consequences of a mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI) for student athletes are arguably higher than paid athletes since the recovery time is longer at a younger age. Recovery requires both physical and mental rest—which may be harder to achieve while keeping up with school work.

Concussions at All Ages

Most sports injury research focuses on High School and Collegiate level student athletes. However, athletes of all ages are at risk of getting a concussion that may cause permanent impairment. Many parents are not aware that concussions are a leading injury risk for children as young as age five who participate in physical sports. The lack of injury reporting for these younger age groups is likely due to the lack of certified athletic trainers at these levels. Not only can this under-reporting mislead parents to believe that there is little risk of injury, it also impedes prevention research since the causes of many injuries are not properly documented.

A recent study following 1,500 elementary-aged athletes found that of the 26 injured over a two year period, 12 had concussions. The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia provides resources for families to learn more about concussion care. Parents of student athletes should be aware of the risks and their role in helping prevent a concussion for their child.

Concussions and Public Health

There have been reports of concussions as early as the late 19th century, but the impact of concussions was recently reintroduced as a public health problem in a 2003 report to Congress. It was also underscored by Dr. Bennet Omalu’s 2005 discovery linking repetitive brain injuries to Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE).

Recovery from Concussions

Concussions are treated through cognitive rest. This combines physical and mental rest in stages to reduce symptom triggers like prolonged heart-rate increases or heavy concentration. The CDC recommends slow, progressive steps to ease a child recovering from a concussion back to their normal schedule as their symptoms lessen.

The CDC also provides a free online training designed to help understand concussions and their consequences, the recovery process, and prevention strategies for parents with children involved or interested in youth sports.

If negligence or malicious behavior resulted in a concussion in your child, it’s important to take action. Regan Zambri Long PLLC can help you with every aspect of the personal injury process. Call today to learn more.