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Girls playing sports see higher rate of brain injury than boys

Participating in an organized sport can greatly benefit children in Hartford. Organized sports encourage teamwork, good sportsmanship and physical fitness, all qualities that parents want to see their children develop. Of course, parents also expect that their child will be safe while playing an organized sport. Unfortunately, this isn't always the case.

When a person thinks of a sports injury suffered by children, they may picture high-contact sports such as football. Therefore, they may be surprised to hear that according to one study by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, girls' soccer players saw a "significantly higher" rate of concussions when compared to boys' soccer players.

According to the study, which examined injuries entered into an injury surveillance system on the Internet dating from 2005 to 2015, girls were just over 12 percent more apt to suffer a concussion than boys playing the same sports. For example, when it comes to the sport of basketball, the study found that of all injuries girls suffered playing the sport, 25.6 percent were concussions. Of boys' injuries in the same sport, only 8.8 percent were due to concussions. In fact, when it came to listing the greatest percentage of concussions in high school sports, girls' basketball, volleyball and soccer outranked boys' football.

According to one author of the study, it is thought that this disparity in concussion rates between boys and girls playing the same sport is that the neck muscles of teenage girls aren't as developed as the neck muscles of teenage boys. In addition, in many girls' sports there is not much in the way of protective equipment.

In the end, it is important that coaches and other adult leaders in these sports recognize the danger a concussion can cause and take action to avoid putting players in danger of one. They should not encourage players to risk their physical health all in the name of winning the game. A concussion can have negative long-term effects. Therefore, parents of children who have suffered a brain injury such as a concussion while playing a sport, whether the child is a boy or a girl, may want to consult with an attorney to see if they have any recourse for the injuries they suffered.

Source: Oakland Press, "Girls' soccer has highest concussion rate of high school sports, study fines," Jacob Bogage, March 28, 2017

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