High School Football Players Suffer More Symptoms After Concussion Than College Players
By Desiree Housek, Staff Writer
A new study has found that in comparison to college football players, high school football players are more likely to suffer from symptoms of a concussion, requiring more time to recover. Researchers conducting the study also found that those who play in youth football leagues have a tendency of returning to the game within 24 hours of a concussion, a direct contrast to their need for additional recovery.
The surprising find may be attributed to the lack of younger players’ ability to identify concussion symptoms. As the brain is still developing in younger players, the cumulative effect that these concussions can have is alarming. There is an urgent need for better methods of spotting and treating these head injuries.
Data from the study identified the most commonly reported symptoms of concussion to be dizziness, headache, and difficulty concentrating. The likelihood of a player who suffered a concussion to return to play at least 30 days after was highest among high school players at 19.5 percent, followed by younger players at just over 16 percent, and lastly college football players at 7 percent.
Though researchers have suggested biological factors playing a role in recovery time among age groups, it is vital to educate younger players, as well as their coaches and parents, about how to identify a head injury and go about treating it.
As most colleges have an athletic trainer present on the field to assist in spotting and treating numerous injuries, high school and youth football don’t have access to such help in health and safety. In many instances, students do not want to admit to experiencing any negative symptoms for fear of being ridiculed, thinking they won’t be believed, or having a desire to stay in the game at any cost.
As young athletes receive more education on the seriousness of concussions, it is hoped that they will become smarter and speak up when they experience any symptoms.