Rates of concussions in high school football games have been increasing, according to a new study.

The study led by Dr. Zachery Kerr,  a core faculty member of the University of North Carolina (UNC) Injury Prevention Research Center- and a team of researchers from UNC, University of Colorado, and Vanderbilt University School of Medicine- found that while practice concussion rates in high school football decreased in the last 5 academic years, competition concussion rates increased, highlighting the continued need for prevention strategies.

The team conducted a surveillance based study that looked at concussion rates for 20 high school sports using reports from athletic trainers over five school years — 2013-’14 through 2017-’18.

They found 9,542 concussions during that time, 64% of which occurred during competition and the rest during practice.

The study calls for more research on the impact of state laws that govern when athletes can return to play and called on pediatricians to help educate families.

“Pediatricians should ensure that youth athletes and their families are aware of the concussion risk associated with their sports of interest,” authors wrote. “Further, pediatricians working with youth sports organizations should advocate the use of safety measures to help prevent concussions.”

Access the full study article here: https://doi.org/10.1542/peds.2019-2180.

Source: American Academy of Pediatrics. (2019, October 15). Study: Concussion rates in high school football games rising. Retrieved from https://bit.ly/32tio9L.