New study finds concussion treatment for youths up 50% in seven years

New study finds concussion treatment for youths up 50% in seven years, says YorkU Kinesiology & Health Science Prof Alison Macpherson, the study's lead author.

Fournier says he understands the dangers his son faces on the ice — including getting slammed against boards and falling on the ice — but that’s not enough to scare his son away from the great Canadian game.

“Like anything else, if I take him away from there, I’m not teaching him how to deal with risk,” he said.

Despite insistence that hockey is safe and parents aren’t worried, new research shows the number of Ontario youths treated for concussions at emergency departments and doctor’s offices is steadily rising.

Between April 2003 and March 2010, the number of concussion-related visits for youths ages 3 to 18 increased by nearly 50 per cent, according to a study from York University and the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES). The total rate of concussions per 100,000 increased from 467 to 754 for boys and from 209 to 441 for girls over a seven-year period.

“It’s a good-news, bad-news story,” said Alison Macpherson, the study’s lead author, associate professor at York University’s school of kinesiology and health and adjunct scientist with ICES. “The bad news is that the number of children who are getting treated for concussions is definitely rising . . . But the good news is that I think at least some of that is because parents and everybody generally are more aware that concussion is a problem.”

Macpherson said the study did not determine whether the increase in concussion-related visits was due to increased incidence or increased awareness.

Read the full article on the Toronto Star website: