AURORA, Colo. (July 22, 2014) With over 170,000 students now playing high school lacrosse, more and more are being exposed to injuries during practice and competition, according to a new study from the Colorado School of Public Health and the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.
The study, published online today by The American Journal of Sports Medicine, found that high school lacrosse players experienced 1,406 injuries over the four academic years from 2008 through 2012. The overall injury rate was 20 per 10,000 lacrosse competitions and practices.
More than 22 percent of those injuries were concussions, making it the second most common injury diagnosis behind sprains and strains (38 percent).
Dawn Comstock, PhD, an author of the study and associate professor of epidemiology for the Pediatric Injury Prevention, Education, and Research (PIPER) program at the Colorado School of Public Health, said the findings contribute to evidence-based discussions of ways to prevent injury including the current debate over whether girls' lacrosse players should wear helmets as boys are required to do.
"Concern over concussions in both boys' and girls' lacrosse underscores the need to learn more about these injuries," Comstock said. "Further study will help those working to develop and implement effective injury prevention programs."
Researchers also found that while the rules for girls' lacrosse largely prohibit person-to-person contact, almost 25 percent of concussions were a result of such contact. Another 63 percent of concussions resulted from being struck by lacrosse sticks or balls. Most high school girls' lacrosse players are only required to use protective eyewear and mouth guards, and not the helmets and additional padding required for boys' lacrosse.
"Lacrosse is becoming more and more popular across the United States, and it's a great way for hig
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University of Colorado Denver