Why Girls Take Longer To Recover From Concussion

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Girls with concussions have more symptoms and longer recoveries than boys, according to a study of pediatric patients recently published in the Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine. Analyzing electronic health records of 192 sports participants ages 7 to 18, researchers found that girls tend to delay seeking specialty medical care for concussions, which may contribute to their slower recovery.

The study's authors speculate that lack of athletic training coverage for girls’ sports may contribute to the delay in receiving treatment. Without immediate medical care, the concussion may not be recognized as such right away and girls may continue playing, not knowing they need timely treatment.

Girls sustain the highest rates of concussion in soccer, basketball and cheerleading. These same sports also generally have less sideline medical coverage for games and inconsistent athletic training coverage during practice.

Parents should check with their children’s coaches to ask whether sideline medical coverage is provided during games and practices. Children who sustain head injuries playing sports should be evaluated as quickly as possible by trained medical professionals and visit a sports medicine specialist for follow-up.

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