Tampa Bay

Catastrophic Brain Injuries Increasing Among Youth Athletes

The Wall Street Journal is the latest publication to take a deep look at brain injuries  in youth sports.

It’s reaching epidemic levels across Tampa Bay and the nation.

Why are more kids getting hurt like this?

“The style of play is really behind it,” Mueller tells the Health Blog. “They’re using their heads more,” perhaps modeling their play after the hard-hitting pros. The report comes just weeks after the New Orleans Saints lost their head coach to a year’s suspension and saw their former defensive coordinator get banned from the game for life for a bounty system rewarding big hits.

Mueller says brain-injury rates dropped sharply after head-first tackles and blocks were banned for high school and college play in 1976. But the injury numbers have been ticking up. Defensive backs take the brunt of these catastrophic injuries, accounting for 34.6% of the 324 recorded between 1977 and 2011, the report says. Over the same time, tackling and “tackling head down” accounted for 40.7% and 19.1%, respectively, of the injuries.

The report is just the latest in a string highlighting the sometimes long-lasting health consequences of full-contact football and other hard-hitting sports.

Click on through above to read more. Learning the signs of concussion is a great place for parents to start educating themselves.

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