Suffering from a concussion is an all-too-common accident in many sports. Players at all levels don’t always take the effects of a hard hit seriously. But a new study published in the journal Pediatrics, is warning coaches athletes and parents that not resting and taking enough time to recover after taking a hit actually doubles the time needed to heal: athletes end up needing to stay on the bench twice as long.
Why are they jumping back in the game in haste, in the first place? For various reasons, experts say.
“Kids are often reluctant to acknowledge a concussion,” said Dawon Dicks, a youth football coach from Andover, Mass, to the New York Times. “The kid may want a scholarship and want to go to college, or it could be that ‘Dad or Coach wants me to play.’ That’s when they’re going to start to be a little dishonest in what they’re truly feeling.”
But there’s no need to be, any longer.
The study, which was completed by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Sports Medicine Concussion Program found that by taking time out and resting immediately following a concussion in the next 24 to 48 hours, brain cells are able to heal faster. Athletes who are wise and who do this can then actually get back to business more rapidly.
“It’s something that we consistently preach to coaches, parents and kids,” said R.J. Elbin, who led the study and is now director of the Office for Sport Concussion Research at the University of Arkansas, to the New York Times. “However, until now, there really has not been any data that supports this idea.”
Well, now there is. Stay safe, kids.