MN Doctor To Study Spike In Sports Concussions

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Twin Cities researcher is getting federal funding to study concussions.

Last year, Dr. Leslie Seymour, an epidemiologist at the Minnesota Department of Health, discovered a sharp increase in youth sports concussions in Minnesota.

Her research found that 808 concussions were reported in 2000. In 2008, there were roughly 1,400.

The sports with the most reported concussions were football and hockey, followed by soccer, basketball and baseball.

Seymour was given a five-year federal grant to find out why concussions are increasing.

More than 30 states, including Minnesota, have laws that aim to increase awareness of the risks of concussions among players, coaches and parents. Seymour will study if those laws make any difference.

The biggest question is whether the increase in concussions is attributable to more injuries or simply a greater awareness.

  • its a monster

    My son was given the OK to go back to school this week after being out for a month. He suffered a concussion during a wrestling match. This is his second injury. Last year it was his neck (which still bothers him). As a parent and teacher I am here to tell you that concussions are only the tip of the berg when it comes to sports injuries.High School sports have turned into a monster.Schools are filled with and surrounded by sports complexes and playing fields that serve, considering their expense, a small percentage of the student body. And every year I see the parade of injured players. High school sports have become an end in themselves and no longer provide opportunity for all students to learn team work, leadership, and physical training. In smaller schools coaches are hired to win games, and the subjects they teach are treated as a secondary priority.The goal is to win and make the school attractive to open enrolling jocks who aren’t happy in their home districts ( which doesn’t have a good team or daddy is mad at the coach). I think it is laughable that the principle defense of this situation put forward is that sports provide scholarship opportunities. Now sports are a substitute for academic achievement as well. Ask a teacher what its like to fail a “star player.” While other areas of education suffer cuts and elimination, heaven forbid that the teams should not travel the state. That’s how it is folks. Will it change? No.

  • truth hurts

    Sounds like your bitter because your son is a Wussssy

    • wow!

      Wow. A personal attack on an injured player. What a troll.

    • Lori

      Sounds like the absolute truth. Sports are NOT what they were 30 years ago. It’s winning at any cost. Case in point, a spinal injury in hockey. Its all about winning and nothing about “playing together” and having fun. Most kids are “washed up” by age 13. Its not about being a wussssy. Its about wussy parents pushing their kids and trying to live through them. With 3 boys, I’ve been there and watched it. Never again. We called it quits for the safety of our boys.

  • Will

    The size, strength, power, and speed that some of these sports are played nowadays compared to what they were back in the day aren’t even comparable. There’s your study. Also, the recent rule change to MN youth hockey making checking illegal until bantam level (same age group as starting high school) instead of the previous younger peewee level is a big issue too. Instead of kid’s learning to check at a slower, younger, smaller level as previous, now they get to learn after 75% of them have hit their growth spurts and are averaging 6′ 180-200 lbs?? GREAT IDEA!! Checking needs to be taught properly at a middle-school age like it was to my team when our organization sent us to a 2 hour on-ice clinic. This was about 8-9 years ago now. Organizations, Coaches, Minnesota Hockey, and even parents need to step up and start getting clinics ran for these kids. It would take about a few hours of ice-time a year.

    • jackactionhero

      Teaching checking at early ages makes kids play the body and not the puck, and the kids who hit their growth spurts earlier than the other kids victimize them and injure them.

      I am all for eliminating checking until even later. I don’t want my 8 year old doing checking drills as he’s learning to skate. That is not going to help him. He’ll be falling enough all on his own, without being put down onto the ice awkwardly.

      Kids do not start out playing hockey on a level playing field. Some kids skate when they are 2 years old. Others decide they want to join the sport as teenagers because their friends play. They should be able to do so safely.

      Will, I couldn’t disagree more with your statement, and I have 4 boys in hockey. I have a 2nd year Bantam, a 2nd year Peewee, a 1st year Peewee, and a 2nd year Mite. How about yourself?

      • Will

        Teaching checking in general teaches when and how to check. Come game time, it is obviously always up to the players discretion. I may have been misunderstood but what I meant was between my squirt and peewee level (if I remember correctly I probably age 12 or 13 and 7th grade) is when we were sent to our on-ice clinic. Obviously there is no need to teach it at an earlier age/playing level because it isn’t allowed. There is little to nothing you can do about the kids that victimize others except by making sure yours aren’t the ones who do it and be sure they are aware of the different types situations and know how to make them less vulnerable to those types of hits (skate with head up, always be aware of any plays near or around the boards, and so on). There will most likely always be that kid though. mostly in the lower skill levels of the peewees, bantams, and junior gold.

        Your example of you child starting out at 8 years is totally fine. Except that he will have plenty of development time before hitting is even implicated into the game. I started playing hockey in elementary school as well. I am 23 now and have assistant coached a bantam team. No kids in hockey, yet….

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