Under the lights of Friday night, young athletes leave it all out on the field.
Unfortunately, concussions can follow players off the field.
That's why Vanderbilt Sports Medicine is working with the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association (TSSAA) to provide certified athletic trainers at all state high school championship games.
Dr. Alex Diamond is a pediatric sports medicine physician at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Dr. Diamond is one of the physicians who treats players at high school football games.
“Whether it seems like a major hit or minor hit, we want to take all those seriously and look for signs or symptoms of concussion,” said Dr. Diamond.
Vanderbilt recently released a study titled “Does age affect symptom recovery after sports-related concussion? A study of high school and college athletes,” published in the Journal of Neurosurgery: Pediatrics.
According to the report, “Recent scientific findings have raised the fear that young athletes may fare worse after sustaining a sports-related concussion than older athletes. Researchers in the Vanderbilt Sports Concussion Center compared symptoms associated with concussion in middle- and high-school aged athletes with those in college-age athletes and found no significant differences between the two age groups.”
Dr. Andrew Gregory is also part of the Vanderbilt Sports Concussion Clinic. Dr. Gregory says it's important for athletes and coaches to know the symptoms of concussion.
“We are seeing more kids coming in complaining of concussion,” Dr. Gregory said. “But we don't think it's because concussions are more common. We think it's because people are recognizing them more.”
A new law in Tennessee aims to protect children who play sports. It requires youth leagues for all sports, not just football, to educate coaches, parents and young athletes about the symptoms of concussion.