Athletes at Risk for Concussion

Concussions can happen to anyone and can occur in any sport. And sports aren’t the only risk. Children and adolescents can sustain concussions in a variety of ways: car or bike crashes, gym class or snowboarding.

No matter how it occurred, though, a suspected concussion is always serious.

group of teens with sports equipmentHere are a few facts* to consider:

  • Girls appear to sustain more concussions and have more problems with concussions than boys in sports where both genders participate.
  • Most concussions occur during competition or game play versus practice.
  • Concussion is an injury that is seen in all sports, both contact and non-contact.
  • Most athletes with a concussion will miss at least one week of sports-related activity due to the concussion.
  • Concussions account for about 15 percent of all sports-related injuries.
  • The sports with the highest rates of concussion for boys are football, ice hockey and lacrosse.
  • The sports with the highest rates of concussion for girls are soccer, lacrosse and basketball.

Regardless of whether a concussion occurred on the field of play or at recess, returning to sports too soon will make an athlete’s symptoms last longer and puts the athlete at higher risk for another, more significant injury.

*Reference: Marar M, McIlvain NM, Fields SK, Comstock RD. Epidemiology of concussions among United States high school athletes in 20 sports. Am J Sports Med. 2012 Apr;40(4):747-55.

Reviewed on April 23, 2014