Daily VideoOctober 31, 2013
New Study Examines Effects of Concussions in Children
Concussions in sports have been in the public spotlight since earlier this year, when the NFL agreed to pay out $765 million to 4,500 former players who alleged that league owners concealed information on the negative effects of repeated head injuries. That history was the focus of a PBS FRONTLINE investigation that aired earlier this month on the links between head injuries and brain disease.
However, while plenty of data exists on the effects of concussions in adults, little research has been done about how concussions affect the brains of elementary and middle school students. Now, a new report by the prestigious Institute of Medicine, a nonprofit, independent organization, is focusing on sports-related concussions in youth, from elementary school through adolescence.
“There’s essentially nothing known about concussions in elementary school and middle school-aged kids,” said Dr. Frederick Rivara, a member of the panel on the study. “And that’s really why there’s a need for more research in this area. It probably makes sense to everyone in the room that guidelines for college kids don’t apply to 5-year-olds.”
However, what researchers do know is that in addition to football, ice hockey, lacrosse and soccer put players at a high risk for head injuries, helmet design does not necessarily reduce risk of injury and a culture of resistance makes young athletes less likely to report concussion symptoms, so they can keep playing.
All of this adds up to risk factors that doctors and researchers fear could lead to medical complications later in life.
Warm up questions
- What is a concussion?
- What are the risks and benefits from playing sports with high concussion rates like football, ice hockey, lacrosse and soccer?
- What do we know about the long term effects of concussions on adults and children?
- Why is it important to understand the effects of concussions on both children and adults?
- We learn here that it is difficult to diagnose a concussion from the sidelines. How would you advise a coach if one of his or her players received a blow to the head? What do you think about a coach saying to a player who has hit his or her head, “Shake it off and get back on the field”?*
- Whose responsibility is it to conduct research on concussions in young athletes?
- What do you predict the results would be in a research experiment where the long term effects of concussions in children were studied?
- Imagine you have children, would you let them play sports with high concussion rates?
*The first discussion question is from NOVA Science NOW “Brain Trauma”
Tooltip of related stories
Tooltip of more video block
Submit Your Student Voice
Schools in Baltimore, Maryland are experimenting with meditation as a way to help students deal with stress and trauma. Continue readingArts & CultureEconomicsHealthScienceU.S.UncategorizedWorld
February 19, 2017, marked the 75th anniversary of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s controversial executive order, which allowed the government to incarcerate Japanese Americans after the attack on Pearl Harbor in World War II. Continue readingArts & CultureEconomicsHealthScienceU.S.UncategorizedWorld
Dozens of cities throughout the United States have been deemed “sanctuary cities,” where local governments resist cooperating with federal immigration officials, including handing over undocumented immigrants who have may committed very minor offenses. Continue readingArts & CultureEconomicsHealthScienceU.S.UncategorizedWorld
In order to address the homelessness problem facing students, a school district in Kansas City, Kansas, with over 1,000 homeless students, partnered with Avenue of Life, a nonprofit organization that brings students out of homelessness by supporting the entire family. Continue readingArts & CultureEconomicsHealthScienceU.S.UncategorizedWorld
In places where violent conflict makes it difficult for human rights investigators to observe, social media platforms now make it possible to document abuses.Arts & CultureEconomicsHealthScienceU.S.UncategorizedWorld