Permanent brain injuries among youth football players highest in 25 years: study

Chapel Hill, NC – Four fatalities and 14 permanent head or brain injuries occurred among U.S. high school and grade school-level football players in 2011, according to results of an annual survey (.pdf file) conducted by the National Center for Catastrophic Sport Injury Research at the University of North Carolina.

Surveyors contacted officials, coaches, medical professionals and trainers throughout the country and found that the number of permanent head or brain injuries, which can lead to lifelong cognitive or mobility disabilities, was in the double-digits for the first time since 1986.

Surveyors found that the largest cause of injuries was helmet-to-helmet contact during player collisions, and recommended coaches and referees institute stricter rules to prevent illegal tackling maneuvers.

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