LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) released concussion data last month that it collected for the fall sports season, after asking every high school in the state to report any student athlete concussions, said Sen. John Proos.
“The more we learn about concussions, the more it becomes clear that they are a serious health concern, impacting the lives of thousands of young people each year,” said Proos, R-St. Joseph. “I applaud the MHSAA for proactively collecting this information and releasing it to the public. This first-ever Michigan-focused data can help parents understand the actual risks of concussions in high school sports and enable the state to focus its awareness and prevention efforts on the sports with the greatest risks.”
The MHSAA received data from 99 percent of its member high schools. According to the data, roughly 2 percent of more than 100,000 Michigan high school athletes experienced a concussion this fall. The average number of concussions per school was 3.2, yet more than half of the 744 schools reported two or fewer concussions.
Football is the fall season’s most-played sport, accounting for 39 percent of all fall participants. It also accounted for nearly 80 percent of all concussions reported for the season.
“As a father with children involved in multiple sports and physical activities, I am proud to have led the effort to protect the health of our young athletes,” Proos said. “While my initiative was designed to help inform parents, coaches and athletes about concussions in youth sports, we must also remember that concussions happen off the playing field. For example, bicycling and playground accidents rank in the top five in the number of brain injury ER visits.”
Proos’ legislation was signed in 2012 to protect student athletes by requiring the creation of a concussion awareness program that includes training and distribution of educational materials for coaches, parents and athletes. A youth suspected of sustaining a concussion is now required to be immediately removed from activity and cannot return until he or she has been evaluated by a health professional and has received written clearance to play.
The Detroit Lions supported Proos’ bill and the National Football League (NFL) is trying to get similar legislation passed in all 50 states and Congress.
To learn more about concussions, from basic information to prevention tips to signs to look for, visit www.cdc.gov/headsup.
Editor’s note: Audio comments by Proos will be available later on the senator’s website at www.SenatorJohnProos.com. Click on “Audio” under the Media Center tab.