WASHINGTON (WUSA9)-- High impact and high contact sports such as football are normally the topic of discussion when you hear the word concussion. But with new studies emerging we are seeing a slight change in perspective. High school lacrosse is more popular with over 170,000 teenagers participating. With the higher number of players, experts are seeing more concussions.
"Lacrosse is becoming more and more popular across the United States, and it's a great way for high school students to be active," said Lara B. McKenzie, PhD. Her team lead a study that focused on concussions in lacrosse players. "Still, we see injuries in the sport every day during the season. Our research shows that we need to do more and can do more to prevent those injuries," adds Dr. McKenzie.
While the most common lacrosse injuries were sprains and strains more than 22% were concussions. The findings were published in The American Journal of Sports Medicine, linking gender to the types of injuries sustained. For girls' lacrosse players 23% of concussions were a result of body contact which is largely prohibited. Sprains and strains accounted for almost 44% of other injuries.
Body contact in boys' lacrosse is allowed and accounted for the 74% of concussions sustained. Boys a noticeably higher injury rate than girls.
Other sports related injuries such as being hit with a ball or stick resulted in 63% of injuries overall. Researchers noted that girls' lacrosse players wore less protective gear, they are only required to wear mouth guards and protective gear for the eyes. While there male counterparts also wear additional padding and helmets.
Here are five tips offered by researchers and lacrosse organizations that should be followed by parents all the way to coaches to help reduce the number of lacrosse injuries:
1. Be sure to follow all the rules of the game, specific attention to player to player contact.
2. Learn the signs and symptoms of a concussion. Any player that exhibits signs of a concussion should be removed from the game and examined by a trained medical professional.
3. Athletes should wear properly fitted protective equipment.
4. Athletes should be stretched and hydrated.
5. Emergency action plans should be established for possible injuries before they happen.
Monika Thomas (WUSA9)