New study highlights concussions in recreational sports

Published On: Dec 24 2013 09:57:32 AM CST   Updated On: Oct 11 2013 07:08:32 PM CDT
Concussion problem locally?
LA CROSSE, WI. -

A new study from the Journal of American Academy of Pediatrics suggests more kids are heading to the hospital for concussion treatments, but it's not just student athletes in contact sports that need to worry.

The study looked at data from more than 3,800 children, and within about the last decade, hospital visits for concussion treatments increased by 92 percent.

You could play with the latest equipment and take all of the right safety precautions, but with the start of every new sports season at Central High School comes the inevitable -- concussions.

“We experience a few of them each season,” said Joe Beran, athletic director for Central High School.

But the study suggests it’s not just the contact sports people should be worried about.

The report shows the top three activities reporting concussions were skateboarding or rollerblading, sledding and skiing. The contact sports including baseball and softball, football, basketball and hockey came next.

“It reinforces the idea that we can't look past recreational activities,” said Sheldon Wagner, a certified athletic trainer with Gundersen Health System.

Wagner said while the study reports kids may be making more hospital visits for concussions, it doesn't necessarily mean they're playing more competitively. He said it just might be everyone is more aware of the problem.

“It reinforces the idea that we're doing a decent job of educating the public and the student athletes,” said Wagner.”

“All of our parents, student athletes and coaches have to sign off on a concussion awareness form,” said Beran. “So they read the information and it allows you to know what the symptoms are for concussion, (and) what to look for if a concussion were to happen to your son or daughter.”

Both said awareness is just another part of safety.

“Central is no different than any other school, we try to make that a priority,” said Beran.

Concussion symptoms typically include headaches, nausea and difficulty in concentrating and balancing.

As another safety precaution, all student athletes at Central have to take a computerized test every other year. When an athlete gets a concussion, they would have to pass the computerized test again in order to play.

While more male athletes tend to get concussions, the study also found concussion rates among female athletes were rising particularly in soccer and hockey.