Concussion Doesn’t Slow Kids’ Return to Soccer
Written by Editor   
Sunday, October 02, 2016 12:00 AM

In the U.S., the youngest football players are more likely to return to play less than 24 hours after a concussion than their older peers, researchers found.

In a study that assessed 1,429 concussions, kids on a youth team were six times more likely to be back in the game within a day than high school athletes.  About 16% of concussions resulted in return-to-play at least 30 days after the injury, and 3.1% resulted in return-to-play less than 24 hours after injury.  The most commonly reported symptoms were headache (94.3%), dizziness (75%), and difficulty concentrating (60.5%).

Compared with 0.8% of high school athletes and 4.7% of players at the college level, 10.1% of the youngest players who sustained a concussion were out playing on the football field the very next day, they reported.

"Youth football athletes may also struggle to identify symptoms and express how they feel to athletic trainers, which may result in misdiagnosis that is not corrected until symptoms persist," they wrote. "It is imperative to educate athletic trainers, parents, coaches, and officials on recognition and management of concussions in youth."

When a player who sustains concussion returns to the field before full recovery, less force is required to produce a second set of symptoms that are more protracted.

Collegiate football athletes reported a higher mean number of cognitive symptoms compared with youth athletes, demonstrating differences in concussion symptoms between levels of competition, the researchers said.

The fact that very few concussions resulted in loss of consciousness demonstrates “the limited utility of that symptom in diagnosing concussion."