Only 10 per cent of young players with concussions resumed football that soon, but the results are concerning and suggest a need for more sidelines medical supervision and better recognition of concussion symptoms in children. Much of the attention on sports concussions has focused on professional football and in college, but there’s a need for more prevention efforts and research at all levels including among the youngest players, according to the researchers who published their findings in JAMA Pediatrics.
At all levels, most players were sidelined for at least a week. Time away from the sport of at least a month was most common among high school players — about 20 per cent, versus 16 per cent of youth players and 7 per cent of college players. Fewer than 1 per cent of high schoolers returned to play less than 24 hours after injury, compared with almost 5 per cent of college players and 10 per cent of youth players. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends athletes avoid returning to play until all concussion symptoms have disappeared. The study notes that procedures for youth players required athletes to get a doctor’s approval before returning to play.