Sports-related concussions up in middle school girls - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Number of sports-related concussions up in middle school girls

Posted: Updated:
  • More WALB News10 HeadlinesMore News HeadlinesMore>>

  • GEMA offers 10 tips during extreme heat

    GEMA offers 10 tips during extreme heat

    Thursday, August 21 2014 11:50 AM EDT2014-08-21 15:50:56 GMT
    A heat wave will make it feel like the temperature is over 100º in the next couple of days in South Georgia. The CDC says extreme heat is the top weather-related killer in the nation, claiming approximately 400 lives per year. More >>
    A heat wave will make it feel like the temperature is over 100º in the next couple of days in South Georgia. The CDC says extreme heat is the top weather-related killer in the nation, claiming approximately 400 lives per year. More >>
  • Educator, politician Earleen Sizemore passes

    Educator, politician Earleen Sizemore passes

    Thursday, August 21 2014 11:50 AM EDT2014-08-21 15:50:55 GMT
    A woman who served as a superintendent of Worth County schools, and as a state representative in the Georgia legislator died Wednesday in Sylvester. Earleen Wilkerson Sizemore was 76, and died after a lengthy illness at Pruitt Health Sylvester.More >>
    A woman who served as a superintendent of Worth County schools, and as a state representative in the Georgia legislator died Wednesday in Sylvester. Earleen Wilkerson Sizemore was 76, and died after a lengthy illness at Pruitt Health Sylvester.More >>
  • Large bee hive being relocated from Valdosta business

    Large bee hive being relocated from Valdosta business

    Thursday, August 21 2014 11:45 AM EDT2014-08-21 15:45:09 GMT
    The bees have made a hive inside an exterior wall at the back of The Snake Pit and a bee keeper has set up a box on the outside of the wall next to the hive to collect the bees and has been working to relocate the bees for past couple of months.More >>
    The bees have made a hive inside an exterior wall at the back of The Snake Pit and a bee keeper has set up a box on the outside of the wall next to the hive to collect the bees and has been working to relocate the bees for past couple of months.
    More >>
COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

A recent study in a pediatric journal revealed that middle school girls who play soccer have a 30 percent chance of getting a concussion, a statistic that holds true in the Fountain City.

"In November, we saw almost 40 children in the emergency department here with head injuries," explains Dr. Joseph Zanga with Columbus Regional Medical Center.

All of those injuries caused by blows to the head or concussions in children as young as six years old.

"Especially in female soccer, you see a lot more concussions," says Jeff Battles, Athletic Director at Hardaway High School. "A higher percentage there than in some of the other sports because of the collisions that happen between two players going for the ball. Sometimes, again, falling down onto the ground."

Dr. Zanga says signs of a concussion can often be as subtle as a headache but could carry deadly consequences for these young girls.

"You could die from the first blow to your head or the tenth blow to your head," Dr. Zanga adds. "Or you could live a perfectly normal life if you do the right things after the first time you get a blow to the head and a concussion."

Dr. Zanga teamed up with coaches and doctors around Muscogee County to help young athletes and their families, as he says, do the right thing.

"Give every athlete a test that tests their brain levels before starts," says Coach Battles. "So, now if a child, if an athlete goes out and an accident happens, now we can come in and give them this test again as a post accident test. And see if it's affected the levels that they're testing on that test."

Helping to increase the awareness and hopefully prevent the injuries for coaches, parents and athletes.

Last year, the Georgia High School Association passed the Return to Play Act requiring coaches to pull athletes displaying signs of concussions. Those who suffer head injuries are not allowed to return to the game without clearance from a doctor.

Copyright 2014 WTVM. All rights reserved.