The CDC estimates there are a total of 3-point-8 million sports related concussions each year.
So, with all the focus on head injuries, schools are now trying to find new ways to keep kids safe.
A school district in Iowa has performed what's called baseline testing.... which involves testing kids' balance and vision... both static and dynamic... then test their processing speeds. teh results give medical professionals a kind of blueprint of how each individual's brain *should* function.
Now this testing won't prevent a concussion... but they can keep an athlete from coming back too soon from one.
And that's because researchers are finding that returning too soon could have longer and more difficult recoveries.
A University of Arkansas study found teen athletes who continued to play following a concussion took 44 days to recover ... compared to 22 days for those who sat out for several games.
In fact, players who did not rest were also more than eight times more likely to have a lengthy recovery.
Overall... the youth sports culture has changed over the past 40 years -- with more kids specializing in one sport from an early age.
Now a new report finds these kids are at a higher risk for injury and burnout by the time they are teens ... than kids who play multiple sports.
Pediatricians say by being more diverse - kids are more likely to enjoy exercise throughout their lives and to reach their athletic goals.
Doctors suggest children who do play one sport - should rest for three months during the year ... and take one to two days off a week to reduce the risk of injury.
The American Academy of Pediatrics also recommends that parents monitor the training and coaching environment of 'elite' youth sports programs.
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