Young athletes remaining silent about concussions: report

Washington – A “culture of resistance” to reporting concussions exists among young athletes, concludes a new report from the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council.

Released in October, the report is based on a review of scientific literature. The number of people 19 and younger treated for concussions and other head injuries jumped to 250,000 in 2009 from 150,000 in 2001, according to the report.

Researchers found concussions were most common in football, ice hockey, lacrosse, wrestling, soccer and women’s basketball. Although the average player recovers from a concussion in two weeks, the report states that for 10-20 percent, recovery takes longer – months or even years.

IOM and NRC assert that the culture of sports may cause athletes not to report their symptoms or stay out of the game, and coaches and parents may not fully understand the risks.

To help change the culture, the report suggests emphasizing the seriousness of concussions and stressed the need to properly care for injured players.