Parents not aware of kids' concussion risks: survey

June 17, 2010

Although parents are concerned about concussion risks for young athletes, many lack awareness about the injury, according to a poll (.pdf file) conducted in May by C.S. Mott Children's Hospital in Ann Arbor, MI.

Half of the parents surveyed were unaware if their child's school had a concussion policy, and more than one-third were unaware that repeat concussions -- a second concussion that occurs before the first has completely healed -- carries a greater risk of long-term neurological problems. Respondents also indicated that young athletes commonly experienced pressure to return to sports after an injury, with 62 percent saying they knew of a parent and 50 percent saying they knew of a coach who would push a player to return to the game too soon after an injury.

Additional findings:

  • 84 percent said children should have to be cleared by a doctor before returning to sports.
  • 81 percent said coaches should be educated on concussion risks.
  • 71 percent believed athletes should have a mandatory period of nonparticipation in sports following a concussion.
  • 67 percent believed a trainer should be on-site for practices and games.