Safety measures have improved and awareness is higher than ever. Still, concerns over the dangers of brain injuries in youth sports will only continue to mount.
With so much attention paid to the subject, studies have revealed the detrimental effect head injuries suffered by young athletes can have on developing brains. One study has found that younger victims of brain injuries are more susceptible to experiencing to post-concussion syndrome than adults. Just about any research that has been and will be conducted on the impact of concussions will only further highlight the risks.
Football has been pinpointed as the primary area of concern, but participation in other youth sports — particularly soccer and ice hockey — has been found to bring its own risks.
High school football programs in several pockets of the Lower Hudson Valley have seen a noticeable decrease in participation levels. The shrinking numbers have coincided with decreased success for local high school teams at the state level. It has led to the shuttering of modified, freshman and junior varsity teams and has even threatened the viability of varsity programs.
Parents leery of the dangers of football and other high-impact sports will likely not have their fears abated by “Concussion,” a film starring Will Smith that was released on Christmas Day.
We’ll examine issues related to head injuries in youth sports in 2016.