Credit: Jane Meredith Adams/ EdSource Today
Don't give team players a hard time about being injured -- that's the message to school athletic coaches from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in their latest report, "Concussion at Play: Opportunities to Reshape the Culture Around Concussion
The advice comes as thousands of high school athletes are ramping up for fall competitions. Awareness of the risks of concussions, particularly for young athletes
with developing brains, continues to increase.
Young players are keenly aware of how their coaches feel about injuries, the report said, citing research. Players who are "insulted by their coaches for reporting an injury" or receive "negative messages" from their coaches may feel pressured to keep playing despite symptoms of concussion, the report said.
On the other hand, student athletes who are praised by their coaches for reporting symptoms of concussion are more likely to do so, the report said.
The trade-off between winning a game in the short term or insuring physical and mental health in the long term continues to be tricky to navigate for players and coaches. In a study of nearly 800 high school athletes, 69 percent said they had played with possible concussion symptoms, the report said. Of those, 40 percent said their coach was not aware they had a possible concussion.
High-profile games, meets and matches pose a challenge to coaches in making health decisions about their players, the report said. When researchers asked 314 coaches if they would remove a young player with concussion symptoms from a game, 92 percent said they would. But when researchers said it was a championship game, nearly 20 percent of coaches said they would allow a concussed athlete to keep playing.
of concussion include:
- Headache, blurry vision, dizziness, vomiting or sensitivity to light or noise.
- Difficulty concentrating, sleep disturbances
- Irritability, sadness or nervousness