GET BREAKING NEWS IN YOUR BROWSER. CLICK HERE TO TURN ON NOTIFICATIONS.

X

PUBLISHED: | UPDATED:
A Mullen High School player tries to tackle a Pomona High School player during a prep football game in Arvada on Aug. 25. According to a study co-authored by a University of Colorado researcher, new laws that require better reporting and monitoring of concussions for high school athletes appear to be working to reduce the number of traumatic brain injuries that young players suffer.
John Leyba, Denver Post file
A Mullen High School player tries to tackle a Pomona High School player during a prep football game in Arvada on Aug. 25. According to a study co-authored by a University of Colorado researcher, new laws that require better reporting and monitoring of concussions for high school athletes appear to be working to reduce the number of traumatic brain injuries that young players suffer.

As Coloradans gather with family and friends this Thanksgiving, and maybe even play a friendly backyard football game, we are thankful to see a happy trend in youth sports: a reduction in traumatic brain injuries among high school athletes.

A new study co-authored by a University of Colorado researcher found that new laws meant to bolster reporting, monitoring and prevention of head-ringing accidents have made sports safer. Truly, this is good news in our sports-centric society, and we’re pleased to see that, for the most part, the culture change that has come along with concussion awareness hasn’t diminished the experience for players and their fans.

Over the last 10 years, most of the concussion-avoidance laws passed in Colorado and across the country require coaches in youth leagues to pull players from the action if they appear to have a concussion. What’s more, the injured player isn’t allowed back until cleared by a doctor. The goal is to prevent a second concussion, as repeated trauma greatly increases the damage.

Now that the new reporting requirements have had time to mature, rates for concussions stabilized, while recurring rates dropped. The study, published by the American Journal of Public Health, found that from 2005 through 2016, high school athletes reported an estimated 2.7 million concussion injuries. Eighty-nine percent of them were new injuries and 11 percent recurrent.

Unsurprisingly, football players are the most at risk. The study found that the rate of concussions among high school players was twice that of boys playing soccer.

Set aside football, and rates among girls and boys in other sports reveal that girls deal with concussions at higher rates, especially in soccer. The CU researcher, Dawn Comstock, said neck strength in girls could play a role. It’s also possible that girls are more comfortable reporting an injury or that coaches are more sensitive, which suggests that improvements in awareness among males are needed.

Comstock notes that fears of injury shouldn’t erode interest in youth sports.

“The long-term impact of inactivity,” she told Denver Post reporter John Ingold, “is worse than the smaller risk of serious injury.”

The states’ laws don’t prevent concussions outright, and no doubt the debate over whether more restrictions should be in place will continue. But the reporting allows researchers to access a national database full of potentially helpful details about when injuries occurred, the position the athlete was playing, weather and surface conditions.

We’re pleased to see Coloradans helping find solutions to the problem of youth concussions. Using technology developed locally, Jefferson County schools required football players to wear Guardian Caps in practice to reduce injury in recent years. The lightweight caps fit over helmets to provide extra protection. Other districts and some college-level teams also use the caps in practice and their use appears to be picking up.

Athletics should play a constructive role in young people’s lives, but competition can cloud judgment. Hard-hitting sports like football carry lots of inherent risk. Finding ways to make the game safer without diminishing its fun should easily be the goal.

We’re thankful to see that the concussion-awareness movement is helping thread that needle.

To send a letter to the editor about this article, submit online or check out our guidelines for how to submit by email or mail.

More in Editorials

  • Colorado officials have drafted a “head of the household”?letter?warning tens of thousands of state residents that the children in their care may soon lose coverage under the Children’s Health Insurance Program. It’s a sad message, and a sad testament to Congress’ inability to set aside partisan politics long enough to help protect the most vulnerable among us.
  • Students, immigrants and Impacted individuals marched ...
<var id="usEQpNZ"></var>
<cite id="usEQpNZ"></cite>
<ins id="usEQpNZ"></ins>
<ins id="usEQpNZ"><span id="usEQpNZ"><cite id="usEQpNZ"></cite></span></ins>
<var id="usEQpNZ"><video id="usEQpNZ"></video></var><ins id="usEQpNZ"></ins>
<ins id="usEQpNZ"></ins>
<ins id="usEQpNZ"><span id="usEQpNZ"><cite id="usEQpNZ"></cite></span></ins>
<cite id="usEQpNZ"></cite>
<var id="usEQpNZ"></var>
<var id="usEQpNZ"></var>
<ins id="usEQpNZ"></ins>
<cite id="usEQpNZ"></cite>
<var id="usEQpNZ"><video id="usEQpNZ"></video></var>
<ins id="usEQpNZ"></ins>
<cite id="usEQpNZ"></cite>
<ins id="usEQpNZ"></ins><var id="usEQpNZ"><span id="usEQpNZ"></span></var>
<cite id="usEQpNZ"></cite>
<var id="usEQpNZ"><video id="usEQpNZ"></video></var>
<cite id="usEQpNZ"></cite>
<var id="usEQpNZ"><video id="usEQpNZ"><thead id="usEQpNZ"></thead></video></var><cite id="usEQpNZ"></cite>
<ins id="usEQpNZ"><span id="usEQpNZ"></span></ins>
<ins id="usEQpNZ"><span id="usEQpNZ"></span></ins>
<var id="usEQpNZ"><span id="usEQpNZ"></span></var>
<ins id="usEQpNZ"><span id="usEQpNZ"></span></ins>
  • 41084961 2018-01-20
  • 664995960 2018-01-20
  • 56136959 2018-01-20
  • 597906958 2018-01-20
  • 69830957 2018-01-20
  • 111429956 2018-01-20
  • 116631955 2018-01-19
  • 99691954 2018-01-19
  • 929719953 2018-01-19
  • 870384952 2018-01-19
  • 478156951 2018-01-19
  • 24828950 2018-01-19
  • 792391949 2018-01-19
  • 385424948 2018-01-19
  • 890694947 2018-01-19
  • 364330946 2018-01-19
  • 190232945 2018-01-19
  • 730220944 2018-01-19
  • 4019943 2018-01-19
  • 951651942 2018-01-19