Top of head concussions most severe

There's more insight into the effect of concussions from contact sports. A study from the American Academy of Pediatrics has found that where a collision occurs on a person's head can make a difference in its effects, with blows to the top of the head often resulting in the most severe injuries.

Researchers looked at data compiled from the National High School Sports-Related Injury Surveillance Study, which provides rates and circumstances of concussions suffered by high school football players during direct player contact.

The largest percentage of concussions--44.7 percent--caused by football collisions were to the front of the head. Collisions on the side of the head occurred 22.3 percent of the time. The reseachers said there wasn’t much of a difference between the effects of these two types of collisions.

However, collisions on the top of the head were more likely to cause a player to go unconscious (8 percent of the time) compared to those on other parts of the head (3.5 percent). These  collisions usually occur when a player lowers his head before impact. These concussions, say experts, can be prevented by learning proper tackling techniques.

Concussions are classified as a traumatic brain injury and actually disrupt how the brain functions. Teens and children take longer to recover from concussions than adults and symptoms may not appear immediately after a collision.

The study was published in the journal Pediatrics.

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