With Super Bowl XLVIII soon approaching and the recent NFL settlement rejection making headlines, the limelight has continued to shine on the dangers of concussions in professional football. Although the NFL has propelled the dangers of chronic brain injuries into a national spotlight, it does not mean that the sport is the only one in which players can suffer from the lasting consequences of concussions.
As evidence that concussions can happen in just about any sport – and to just about any athlete or individual – the University of Washington has published a study finding that young female soccer players suffer a significant amount of concussions. Researchers also found that, similar to football players, these girls often continue to play despite symptoms of concussions.
Many other similar studies – including a 2008 study published by the Journal of Athletic Training – have found that female high school and college athletes suffer more concussions than boys in sports in which they both participate. Although high school males experience the most concussions because they play football, when the sport is excluded, girls experience more concussion injuries, particularly in soccer and basketball.
Throughout the years, researchers have found that concussions in female sports are alarmingly common, and that far too many female athletes return to the game or fail to seek medical attention for their symptoms. Here are a few statistics regarding female athletes and concussions:
- The Journal of Athletic Training study found that during the course of the 2005-2006 school year, 29,167 female high school soccer players suffered from a concussion, while only 20,929 male soccer players did.
- Female high school basketball players experienced far more concussions during the school year than their male counterparts – 12,923 girls compared to only 3,823 boys.
- High school girls reported more concussions in softball than boys did in baseball.
- 13% of young female soccer players – not high school or college – experienced a concussion each season over the span of four years. Half returned to the game.
- Women's ice hockey has one of the highest rates of concussions of all college sports.
These studies and statistics should remind parents to take an active role in monitoring their young athletes for symptoms associated with concussions, including confusion, difficulty concentrating, memory loss, headaches, dizziness, ringing in the ears, and sensitivity to light or sound.
You can find more information about athlete injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and the rights of injured players by speaking with a Washington, DC personal injury lawyer at Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C.