Posts Tagged ‘ Kids Concussions ’

2013 and … Kids’ Sports

Friday, December 20th, 2013

We need to promote physical activity in kids of all ages. But we also need to be sure that they are as safe as possible.

In 2013 we witnessed a slew of reports on concussions and some focused on concussions in kids. Many are coming from the world of professional sports, where highly trained and talented individuals are suffering from the lasting effects of head injuries. We also hear, on occasion, tragic stories of kids who suffer severe, and sometimes fatal, effects of head on head contact. It’s noted that the risk for concussion is not limited to football, and occurs in most sports (though with varying degrees of risk).

While there was more collective discussion about concussions in kids’ sports in 2013, there was hardly enough – and far from a systematic and forward looking framework offered. In part, this comes from either dismissal of the importance of the topic or a general acceptance of the risk, without a thoughtful consideration that we need to make sports safer for kids.

Let’s hope that changes in 2014.

Concussion via Shutterstock.com

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Is Heading A Soccer Ball Dangerous?

Sunday, March 31st, 2013

When I started reading a recently published study, I thought the answer was yes. But after reading the study – and an expansion by the authors in an interview in the New York Times – I think the answer is that we really don’t know. 

What we do know is that soccer produces a lot of concussions. Many of these result from body to body contact – soccer can be a surprisingly physical sport.

This recent study used a novel method to do cognitive testing on high school girls after they headed a ball a number of times in practice. The data showed that there performance was somewhat lower than a control group – especially if they headed a lot of balls.

But there were plenty of limitations to the study. Most importantly, we’d need to see a full longitudinal study that included a large sample, measurement of cognitive performance before and after playing soccer, and a longer window of follow-up.

So while the question is extremely important, the only thing that is clear is that we don’t really know the answer yet.

Soccer Ball via Shutterstock.com

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