Safety Committee Wants More Research on Concussions for Youth Athletes

Findings show reduced-trauma is not doing the trick

According to new studies, younger athletes within the United States currently face a “culture of resistance” when it comes to reporting their own possible concussions. This lack of impetus toward reporting the brain trauma could lead to negative long-term effects for each and every athlete. The research comes by way of the the Institute of Medicine and National Research Council. The report currently provides a broad variety of concussive examinations across a range of athletes. The ages are from five to 21 years in total.

Sports being looked at ranged from football, lacrosse, and soccer to wrestling, ice hockey and basketball. When it came to concussions, rates appear to be higher for youth than at any other point in history. Females are also reportedly taking on more concussive injuries as well.

It was discovered by the committee that there are caps in the knowledge base necessary to make an accurate determinations regarding the totality of sports-related concussions. Such necessary work involves understanding the changes in the brain following concussions as well as the assessment of consequences of continual trauma to the brain.

“The findings of our report justify the concerns about sports concussions in young people,” said Robert Graham, chair of the committee and director of the national program office for Aligning Forces for Quality at George Washington University, Washington, D.C. “However, there are numerous areas in which we need more and better data. Until we have that information, we urge parents, schools, athletic departments, and the public to examine carefully what we do know, as with any decision regarding risk, so they can make more informed decisions about young athletes playing sports.”

The committee state it found little evidence to support the claim that helmets designed to reduce risk have any significantly positive effect. It noted that properly fitted helmets and face masks should be used to reduce other serious injury, however. The findings could change the way protective devices are advertised, however, but without more in-depth evidence the finding could be resisted by such makers of the products.

Certain recent studies have found enforcement of rules by coaches to adhere to the rules of safety helped reduce the severity of the concussion epidemic. The “hit count” found in several youth organization was claimed to be lowered by adherence to such policies. However, the committee said its findings did not support the idea of having an allowed threshold of helping the matter.

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