Studies are showing that if kids continue playing sports after a concussion it will double their average recovery time. It can also lead to worse brain function during recovery, and even more severe long-term effects if the child was seriously injured.
The study was conducted at the University of Pittsburg Medical Center. It was the first test to compare young athletes who quickly left the field/court after a head injury with young athletes who continued playing. Scientists monitored teenagers at 15 years of age, and tracked their average total recovery time. The children came from a diverse range of sports, including football, soccer and hockey. The kids who continued playing took 44 days on average to recover, while the kids who rested took only 22 days on average to recover.
The players who continued to play after a head injury were on the field/court an average of only 18 minutes before being removed from the game. This period of less than a half hour was enough to make a major difference in their recovery.
Never Let Kids Keep Playing Sports After a Concussion
Concussions are still not very well understood. People fail to realize the long-term potential damages of these injuries, including brain damage. Some doctors have even gone so far as to claim that children should avoid contact sports altogether.
The fact that less than a half hour on the field makes such a big difference demonstrates that coaches and parents should take blows to the head more seriously. If a kid might have been hurt, it’s better to err on the side of caution than to keep the child in the game.
Concussions are Underreported
Many kids who have concussions do not know this has happened. Symptoms often won’t show up until hours later. In fact, the numbers seem to show that around 50 percent of concussions are untreated altogether. Parents and coaches need to take all head injuries seriously and seek medical attention as a precaution rather than a last resort. Even if the child seems fine, it still might be good to talk to a medical professional.
Over time, even seemingly harmless hits to the head can be very dangerous. These kinds of precautions can help kids avoid a longer injury period and even protect them from major health issues later in life. Never assume a head injury is harmless.
Targan Pender & Strickland, P.C. is a New Jersey personal injury law firm that fights to protect victims of sports injuries and other accidents.