Study: Girls who suffer concussions in soccer, continue to play

With the approach of this year's World Cup, interest among Joplin boys and girls in soccer is likely to grow. While some parents might breathe a sigh of relief when their children choose a "safe" sport such as soccer, they should understand that every sport carries risks of injuries to players.

A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Pediatrics focused on middle school girls who play soccer. Researchers found that more than half of the girls who sustained concussions continued to play despite experiencing concussion symptoms, increasing risks of serious brain injuries.

In other concussion cases, symptoms didn't make themselves immediately evident and girls returned to the playing field. They, too, faced increased risks of sustaining more serious brain trauma.

It isn't just girls who play soccer who face these risks, but rather children who play football, lacrosse, basketball, hockey and other sports as well.

One girl interviewed by a Missouri media outlet said her head collided with another player's head in a club soccer game. But she had no symptoms for two days.

However, she played two games after the collision and before the arrival of concussion symptoms, putting her in danger of much more serious damage if she had sustained another blow to the head.

She said that when she found out she had been at risk, the realization scared her. "It was really frightening," she said. "I was like 'What if that would have happened?'"

The executive director of the Brain Injury Association of Missouri says because symptoms don't always show up right away, coaches, trainers, game officials, school nurses and others need to be more aware of how to treat players after collisions.

Experts say that sometimes coaches, parents and others simply need to prevent student athletes from returning to the field too quickly, even if no symptoms are evident.

It's good to see attention paid to head injuries sustained on the playing field. The knowledge gained in those studies can often prove useful to people injured in car accidents, falls, workplace accidents and more.

For those who incur medical bills, rehab costs, loss of income and other damages as the result of someone else's negligence or wrongdoing, a conversation with an experienced personal injury attorney can help begin the process of receiving compensation.

Source:, "Study finds girls continue to play soccer with concussion symptoms," Meryl Lin McKean, Jan. 20, 2014



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