Football concussions on the rise, 84% more likely to happen in practice or preseason


MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) – A study by The Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) found football concussions occur at a disproportionally higher rate during practice versus games.

Research by JAMA showed football head injuries occurred 84% more often in preseason compared to regular-season games.

“Concussions are on the rise and make up about 10% of all sports-related injuries,” Dr. Darwin McKnight, Tidelands Health Sports Medicine Physician, said. “Most of the time, I see high school-related concussions, most commonly from football.”

The American Medical Association (AMA) is looking to reduce the rate of concussions among football players.

Preseason takes up about 20% of the entire football season. However, one expert said it accounts for more than one-half of all concussions.

Dr. McKnight said he sees injuries occur at young ages and said education and equipment are two of the best preventative measures.

“One of the biggest risk factors for a concussion is the history of concussions. Concussions can occur in adolescents, the younger you are, and the earlier that you, you are at risk to develop future concussions,” Dr. McKnight said.

Carolina Forest Youth Sports Association (CFYSA) father, Aaron Moore, is taking measures to prevent short and long-term risks of concussions on the field.

“We’ve had three concussions in the last five years, two players and one player had two. Unfortunately, the one player who had two was one of my children,” Moore said.

Moore says it’s not only about having the right equipment but making sure it fits.

CFYSA players also spend the beginning of the season learning the fundamentals before starting contact practices.

“Our kids will usually practice about eight practices before they are ever really in pads and doing full contact. We require all of our kids to go through a four practice protocol,” Moore said.

Moore said their players wear a high-end protective helmet by Xenith, and coaches get certified with USA Football each year to keep up with preventative, safe techniques.


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