Many Teen Athletes Stay Mum, Play with Concussion-Like Symptoms

Health & Fitness

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iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — Teenage athletes often continue to play despite having headaches stemming from injuries on the field, a new study being presented Monday at the annual meeting of Pediatric Academic Societies finds.

The study, which surveyed high school football players, found that an alarming number of them would not report concussion-like symptoms to a coach.  Football is the most likely of all high school sports to cause concussions.

“Approximately half of them said they’d continue to play with symptoms and half of them reported that they would tell their coach,” says the study’s lead author, Dr. Brit Anderson, a pediatric emergency medicine fellow at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.

As she points out, the high percentage is not due to a lack of awareness.

“High school athletes are being taught about concussions, the danger of concussions, but they still, unfortunately, expressed hesitancy to report these symptoms to their coach and sit out of the game,” Anderson says.

The reason why is not clear.

“We don’t know why at this time, we didn’t ask that, but I think that would be a great follow up study to this one,” Anderson says.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

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