A recent NPR article by Jon Hamilton highlights the fact that, in terms of concussion, women are fast closing the gender gap. Previously, one of the issues in understanding the gendered response to head injuries has been the lack of research into women's concussion.
Women suffer more concussions than men in the sports that both play, with an injury rate 50 percent higher, according to the most recent research. Female athletes with brain trauma tend to suffer different symptoms, take longer to recover and hold back information about their injuries for different reasons than males.
When a boy asks his parents if he can try out for the school football team, his parents know that along with the fun comes some real risks. Everybody knows that football players get injured. And the potential for a serious head injury is obvious—there’s a reason football players wear helmets, after all. But the lead author of a new study, Dr. Wellington Hsu, has an important message for parents, coaches, and athletic trainers: “While American football has been both scientifically and colloquially associated with the highest concussion rates, our study found that girls, and especially those who play soccer, may face a higher risk.” (more…)
more research is needed to better understand how gender impacts the frequency and severity of concussions, why female athletes are so susceptible to sports-related brain injuries and how to better protect female athletes from these injuries. That’s where the idea for the Women’s Sports Safety Initiative came from. The Initiative is dedicated to advancing the lives of women and girls by raising awareness of sports-related injuries and the unique factors affecting women’s susceptibility to and recovery from injury.
The culture of “staying in the game” is changing, but kids still believe they need to be tough and play through injuries. Too often, they’re afraid to tell their coaches, trainers or parents when they think they have a concussion. Training coaches to recognize the signs and symptoms of concussion will help ensure athletes are removed as soon as possible and reduce their risk for further injury.