Concussion Rate for U.S. Kids on the Rise

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A recent study found that concussion diagnoses more than doubled between 2007 and 2014. The rate among 10- to 14-year-olds more than tripled, with 15- to 19-year-olds rising by nearly as much. While the study showed this huge increase in concussions, it is unknown whether the rise was due to more injuries or better diagnosis. 

Awareness of the dangers of concussions has led to more attention paid to head injuries in youth sports. All 50 states and Washington, D.C. have passed laws targeting concussions in high school and younger athletes since 2009, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). These “return-to- play” laws typically require kids to be immediately removed from a game if a concussion is suspected. They also usually require a doctor’s OK before a concussed athlete can return to the sport, according to the CDC. 

The most common symptoms of concussion are attention and memory problems, headaches, and fatigue. Other symptoms include dizziness, vomiting/nausea, and trouble balancing. In most cases, the prescribed treatment is rest, both physical and mental. Recovery times generally vary from a few days to a few months.