2017 survey: About 2.5M students had concussion in past year
MelissaJenco, News Content Editor
About 15% of high school students reported having a concussion in the past year, according
to a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Teens participating in the 2017 national Youth Risk Behavior Survey answered questions
about whether they suffered a concussion in the past year due to playing a sport or
being physically active. Roughly 9% said they had one concussion, 3% reported two,
1% reported three and 2% reported at least four.
Based on those results, CDC researchers estimate about 2.5 million high school students
experienced at least one sports- or recreation-related concussion, and 1 million experienced
at least two.
“There is a need to expand programs, policies and practices, tailored to specific
audiences, to ensure that all students, parents, coaches, teachers, and health care
providers know how to prevent, recognize and manage concussions,” researchers said
in the report.
Results also showed that teens who played on a sports team were more likely to have
a concussion than those who did not, and rates went up as the number of sports teams
they participated in increased. Males reported concussions at higher rates than females,
and black and Hispanic students reported the highest rates of at least four concussions.
The CDC turned to the survey for a look at concussion rates after finding such injuries
may be underreported when they are not treated in a hospital or by a school-based
trainer. Researchers, however, noted that data based on student reports may overestimate
the number of concussions because they weren’t validated by medical records.
The CDC is developing a National Concussion Surveillance System to track injuries
better. It also called for parents and coaches to emphasize safety with high school
athletes and to remove those with a suspected concussion from practice or games until
a health care provider clears them.