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High School Sports & Concussions

The In Your Interest newsletter shared a helpful post recently that is a good summary of the ongoing problem of concussions in sports. The story shares information on former Chicago Bear Dave Duerson who died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound in 2011. Later, his brain was found to shown signs of a neurodegenerative disorder connected to his concussions while playing football.

The story notes that head trauma occurs in many facets of life, including sports. New understanding about the dangers of that trauma, however, do not mean that no one should play the riskiest sports. But the new data is crucial in crafting prevention strategies to keep players as safe as possible.

For example when it comes to high school athletics, rules, game tactics, equipment, and medical support can be altered to account for the risk of harm. It is entirely reasonable for players and their parents to expect those involved in running the programs (often schools) to act prudently to keep players safe. Their failure to do so, when it results in preventable injury, should never be acceptable.

But which high school sports present the gravest concussion risks?

High School Sports with Highest Concussion Risks
The post shares an interesting chart from the American Journal of Sports Medicine which tracks concussion rates in various sports. The data for the chart was culled from the monitoring of twenty five different high schools and many different sports over an eleven year period. The results are helpful for all familie when seeking to understand exactly how much risk their children may be in while participating in various sports.

Unsurprisingly, the sport which has, by far, the highest rate of concussion is football. According to the research, there were about .6 concussions per 1,000 “exposures.” For purposes of this study, exposures refers to both games and practices. The second sport with the highest risk of concussion is girls soccer–with .35 concussions per 1,000 exposures. Interestingly, girls soccer produced twice as many concussions as boys soccer. The study does not provide any specific information on why that might be, but it no doubt has something to do with various differences in how the two genders play the game.

Lacrosse was another sport with a significant number of concussions at .30 per 1,000 exposures. Some of the sports with the lowest rates include boys basketball (.10), boys baseball (.06), girls field hockey (.10), and cheerleading (.06).

Interestingly, the researchers found that, overall, male athletes were nearly 2.5 times as likely to suffer a concussion from athletics when all sports were taken into account. Male the athletes have .34 concussions per 1,000 exposures while girls have .13 per 1,000 exposures. Considering the breakdown of individual sports, this gender difference is largely attributed directly to football. Football is the sport with the most concussion by far and it is played only by boys. With football taken out of the equation, the concussion rates between the genders would be similar.

If you or a loved one may have been hurt by a concussion or other head injury which could or should have been prevented, considering getting in touch with the lawyers at our firm to see how we can help.

See Our Related Blog Posts:

Two More Former Football Players File Illinois Concussion Lawsuit Against NCAA

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