Girls are more vulnerable to concussions than boys

Liz Smith
Asst. Sports Editor

Although the NFL is taking measures to protect its football players against illegal hits that may lead to concussions, female athletes are not invincible to these same head injuries and may even be more likely to sustain them than males.
Girls face more concussions on average than boys in high school and college level sports in a study by the National Athletic Trainers’ Association Inc., going against the common assumption that boys sustain more concussions due to increased contact.
“Girls are just as vulnerable as boys,” Dr. Mark Singer of California Pacific Medical Hospital said, “but a false sense of security may develop and girls may be taking on more risky [plays and moves] in the name of competition.”
A concussion is the result of the shaking of the brain against the skull, often leading to bruising. Concussions
are common in high school sports through head collisions, heading in soccer, and even falling while running or skating.
While the immediate effects of a concussion are classified as minor according to Singer, cumulative injuries may have disastrous con- sequences and be life-threatening.
“Frequent or repeated concussions may lead to dementia later in life, similar to the effects of Alzheimer’s disease,” Singer said.
Over 300,000 concussions were reported in high school sports last year according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The effects of concussions are collective. An athlete’s probability of incurring a concussion after the first one is increased by 400 percent according to a study by the Richard Stockton College Athletic Training Association and with each head injury, an athlete becomes more likely to sustain another. Athletes who return to play before recovering from a concussion and sustain another head injury may develop Second Impact Syndrome and run the risk of brain swelling, which has a 50 percent death rate.
Lasting effects of concussions may include headaches and impaired vision, balance and memory according to a study by the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.
With safety precautions such as wearing helmets in sports like horse- back riding and skiing, brain injury from concussions can be cut down according to the CDC.
Concussions may be hard to detect according to athletic director Elena De Santis.
“Coaches cannot tell by just looking at a player that they have suffered a concussion,” De Santis said. “[Concussions] may not be discovered until later, which is why we send players to the doctor and wait for a response.”
The California Interscholastic Federation Federated Council passed Bylaw 313 in May, requiring athletes that are assumed to have incurred a concussion to receive a signed medical release from a doctor before returning to play.
“CIF is even implementing testing for athletes online,” De Santis said. “The test is basically about reaction time, giving basic questions and an athlete must receive a score within a certain range or else they need to wait for complete recovery and talk to their doctor before they can play again.”

Although the NFL is taking measures to protect its football players against illegal hits that may lead to concussions, female athletes are not invincible to these same head injuries and may even be more likely to sustain them than males.

Girls face more concussions on average than boys in high school and college level sports in a study by the National Athletic Trainers’ Association Inc., going against the common assumption that boys sustain more concussions due to increased contact.

“Girls are just as vulnerable as boys,” Dr. Mark Singer of California Pacific Medical Hospital said, “but a false sense of security may develop and girls may be taking on more risky [plays and moves] in the name of competition.”

A concussion is the result of the shaking of the brain against the skull, often leading to bruising.

Concussions are common in high school sports through head collisions, heading in soccer, and even falling while running or skating.

While the immediate effects of a concussion are classified as minor according to Singer, cumulative injuries may have disastrous consequences and be life- threatening.

“Frequent or repeated concussions may lead to dementia later in life, similar to the effects of Alzheimer’s disease,” Singer said.

Over 300,000 concussions were reported in high school sports last year according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The effects of concussions are collective. An athlete’s probability of incurring a concussion after the first one is increased by 400 percent according to a study by the Richard Stockton College Athletic Training Association and with each head injury, an athlete becomes more likely to sustain another. Athletes who return to play before recovering from a concussion and sustain another head injury may develop Second Impact Syndrome and run the risk of brain swelling, which has a 50 percent death rate.

Lasting effects of concussions may include headaches and impaired vision, balance and memory according to a study by the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

With safety precautions such as wearing helmets in sports like horseback riding and skiing, brain injury from concussions can be cut down according to the CDC.

Concussions may be hard to detect according to athletic director Elena De Santis.

“Coaches cannot tell by just looking at a player that they have suffered a concussion,” De Santis said. “[Concussions] may not be discovered until later, which is why we send players to the doctor and wait for a response.”

The California Interscholastic Federation Federated Council passed Bylaw 313 in May, requiring athletes that are assumed to have incurred a concussion to receive a signed medical release from a doctor before returning to play.

“CIF is even implementing testing for athletes online,” De Santis said. “The test is basically about reaction time, giving basic questions and an athlete must receive a score within a certain range or else they need to wait for complete recovery and talk to their doctor before they can play again.”

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
(Visited 37 times, 1 visits today)