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Recreation-related concussions on the rise in children

Children are getting more sports- and recreation-related concussions than ever before. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the rate of concussions in children has risen 60 percent during the past decade. Each year, more than 173,000 children and adolescents are treated in emergency rooms for concussions and other traumatic brain injuries.

Concussions are traumatic injuries to the brain that occur after a blow to the head or body. The brain, made of soft tissue, shifts inside the skull, causing temporary changes in how the brain works. Most concussions last between seven and 10 days, but they can be serious and last longer.

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Concussion Risks Haven’t Slowed Down High School Football

Despite overwhelming evidence of the sport’s dangers, high school football participation is down just 2% since 2008. Since the kids won’t kick the sport, legislators and state athletic associations are trying to make it safer.

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Experts: More girls suffering from post-concussion headaches

While football players are considered to be the most at risk, females are gaining ground in every sport from soccer and volleyball to basketball and cheerleading.

More and more girls are suffering from post-concussion headaches.

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California law limits school football practices to cut concussions

Football practices at which middle- and high-school students tackle each other will be restricted in California under a law signed on Monday by Democratic Governor Jerry Brown, the latest U.S. effort to minimize brain injuries from the popular sport.

The measure, which limits practices with full-on tackling during the playing season and prohibits them during most of the off-season, comes amid growing concern nationwide over brain damage that can result from concussions among student as well as professional athletes. 

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VIDEO Sport Safety International Executive Director Dr. Robb Rehberg, appears on Rep. Pascrell’s “To the Point”

U.S. Congressman Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09), founder and co-chair of the Congressional Brain Injury Task Force, today released the latest installment of  “To the Point” entitled “Fair Play: Protecting our student athletes from sports-related concussions”, in which he discusses the dangers of concussions in youth sports and how we can better protect our youngest athletes on the playing field. 

Guests include Niki Popyer, a former high school athlete from Marlboro, NJ who sustained multiple sports-related concussions; Dr. Robb Rehberg, Executive Director of Sport Safety International, and; Dr. Seth Stoller, Neurology Chief for the Concussion Center at the Atlantic Neuroscience Institute at Overlook Hospital in Summit. Watch the Video

Heading off danger: Concussions and teens

It’s a hot July afternoon, just before a thunderstorm. The Bonnette family is in the living room next to a fan, discussing schedules. 17-year-old Giuliana Bonnette plays the right side position for the varsity volleyball team at Dominion High School in Sterling. She is now recovered from two concussions she suffered in the spring.

“It started out as just a really bad headache, and a little bit of confusion,” Bonnette said.

These were Giuliana Bonnette’s symptoms after her first concussion 6 months ago. Her head slammed against the ground during volleyball tryouts. It was first diagnosed as whiplash.

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Concussions in football harder than ever to ignore

The days of jarring hits in football being brushed off as “dings” or “cleaning out the cobwebs” are long gone.

With growing concerns over sports-related concussions, prep football players, coaches and parents are urged to take every high-impact collision seriously.

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Can helmets protect your kids from concussions like companies claim?

From Pop Warner to the pros, football players will soon strap on their helmets for another hard-hitting season on the gridiron. Those hard hits can be dangerous, even deadly. Helmet companies claim new products can protect your kids from concussions, but do they really work?

The big helmet-to-helmet hits send football fans to their feet. The problem is that the hits also send players to the hospital. The concussion discussion dominates safety speak at every level.

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Reps. Pascrell, Rooney Urge FIFA to Address Concussion Safety Lawmakers cite dangerous collisions in Would Cup as need for concussion protocols

On Tuesday, U.S. Reps. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ) and Thomas J. Rooney (R-FL), co-chairs of the Congressional Brain Injury Task Force, wrote to Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) President Joseph Blatter urging FIFA to implement protocols that would better protect its athletes from the dangers of traumatic brain injuries. The dangers of sports-related concussion were on full display during this year’s World Cup, where several players were left in obvious pain and allowed to return to play almost immediately after receiving blows to the head.

“We strongly urge you to take action to adequately address TBI in your organization,” the lawmakers wrote. “We witnessed the immediate effects of head injuries during this World Cup, but the long-term implications are rarely broadcast on international television. Most importantly, we encourage FIFA to set a positive example for young fans who aim to emulate their favorite players. If young fans see their favorite players treat head injuries with such little regard, they too will not treat head injuries with the gravity they deserve. Every concussion is brain damage and must be diagnosed and treated by appropriate medical personnel, who prioritize players’ health, safety, and well-being.”

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Hero In The Ring: Concussions Or No, We Won’t Stop Playing Contact Sports

I had just collected one of the half-dozen victories that would make me collegiate boxing’s 2000 Midwest champion. I sat down on a folding chair in a back room of the arena. I could hear the crowd roaring in the background as my coach pulled off my gloves and cut the tape from my fists. I leaned forward, put my head in my newly bare hands, and rested my elbows on my knees. I was enjoying the adrenal denouement. Suddenly, something felt wrong. I raised my head and stared with confusion at my uncovered palms. “What happened to my hand-wraps?”

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