Laws to protect athletes’ brains do reduce concussions — eventually | Science News

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Laws to protect athletes’ brains do reduce concussions — eventually

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5:11pm, October 19, 2017
girls playing soccer

HARD KNOCKS Girls had almost twice the annual rate of concussions as boys when researchers compared sports — soccer, basketball and baseball/softball — that both played.

To guard against the dangers of concussions, by 2014, all 50 states and the District of Columbia had enacted laws to protect young athletes. More than 2½ years after these laws went on the books, repeat concussions began to decline among high school athletes, researchers report online October 19 in the American Journal of Public Health.

Researchers reviewed concussion data from 2005 to 2016 collected in an online system for sports injuries from a nationally representative sample of U.S. high schools. An estimated nearly 2.7 million reported concussions occurred during that time — an annual average of 39.8 concussions per 100,000 times a player hit the field for practice or games — among athletes in nine sports: football, basketball, soccer, baseball or wrestling for boys, and basketball, soccer, softball and volleyball for girls.  

Overall, the rate of new and

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