CHICAGO — Although concussion guidelines recommend not returning to play the same day an injury is sustained, girl soccer players were 414% more likely to return to the field that same day than were boys, according to a research presented at the AAP 2017 National Conference & Exhibition.
“The girl soccer players were 5 times more likely than boys to return to play on the same day as their concussion,” Shane M. Miller, MD, FAAP, a pediatric sports medicine specialist at the Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children, said in a press release. “This is cause for concern, especially with previous studies showing that girls suffer twice as many concussions as boys.”
Girl soccer players are five times more likely to return to the game after a concussion than boys, according to data presented at the 2017 AAP conference.
To understand the differences in the rates at which girls and boys return to play after a concussion, as well as the frequency in which this happens, the researchers conducted a retrospective review that included children who play soccer who sustained a concussion and were treated over 2 years at pediatric sports medicine clinics. Patient demographics, same-day return to play information, soccer position, injury characteristics, symptoms and other measures were assessed by Miller and colleagues.
Of those included in the study (n = 87), 66.7% were girls and 33.3% were boys. The average age of the soccer players was 14.13 years (range = 7-18). Girls were more likely to be back to play after concussions, with 51.7% of girls returning the same day compared with boys (17.2%), making girls 414% more likely to return to play (OR = 5.14; 95% CI, 1.72-15.3).
When all players were included, 40.2% returned to play on the same day, with 97.1% returning to the same practice or game. Of all soccer players who sustained a concussion, one returned to a game later in the day.
“Considering the dangers of returning to play prematurely, parents need to familiarize themselves with organizational guidelines for concussions, which should be aligned with current national recommendations, and should have a heightened awareness of signs and symptoms of concussions,” Aaron Zynda, clinical research coordinator at the Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children, said in a press release.
“Current education efforts may not be enough to help athletes, parents and coaches identify concussion symptoms, know the guidelines for immediate removal from play and understand the risks of returning to play after an injury,” Zynda continued. “More research is needed on how to better spread this message intended to protect the health of young athletes and help them comply with state laws.”– by Katherine Bortz
Miller SM, et al. Gender differences in same-day return to play following concussion among pediatric soccer players. Presented at: The 2017 American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference & Exhibition; Sept. 16-19; Chicago.
Disclosure: Infectious Diseases in Children could not obtain disclosure information before publication.