Did you know that when it comes to sports, girls are more likely to suffer concussions and head injuries than boys are? According to a recent study by the Journal of Athletic Training, in sports that both girls and boys play, like soccer and basketball, girls are 1.5 times more likely to suffer head injuries in basketball and 3 times more likely when playing soccer.
What is a concussion? According to Dr. Gwenn of Pediatrics Now:
Head injury can cause external injuries to the scalp or skull as well as internal injuries to the brain such as bruises, bleeding, and concussions. Any internal brain injury can be serious but concussions are the most common and can be the least obvious. A concussion occurs when the brain is shaken causing a temporary disruption in how the different nerves talk to each other, similar to a power surge at home. Symptoms vary and often include seeing stars, being dazed, blurred vision, nausea and occasionally amnesia. With more serious concussions, headache, vomiting, balance problems and changing levels of consciousness may occur. Contrary to popular belief, it is possible to have a concussion without loosing consciousness and even minor head injury can cause concussions.
Dr. Sanjay Gupta recently discussed this study at his blog and wonders if girls are less protected physiologically than boys (who have bigger heads and tend to have stronger neck muscles) or whether they just report it more often?
Either way, head injuries are not to be taken lightly and in the case of an athlete hitting her head during training or competition, it is always best to err on the side of caution and seek medical treatment immediately.
Here are some additional articles on concussions in girls sports:
- Study shows girls more susceptible to concussions than boys
- Girls Soccer: Concussion Risks
- Kids and Head Injuries
- Female Athletes Bear Brunt of Concussions
- Girls Suffering More Concussions in High School Sports