Study affirms concussion dangers to young athletes

Young athletes may face a greater danger if they suffer new head blows before they're fully recovered from previous concussions.

A new study published in the journal Pediatrics, dug into the National Registry of Sudden Death in Young Athletes, a database maintained by the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation, to focus on deaths from blunt trauma among players 21 and younger.

Study author Dr. Barry Maron says a key finding is a worrisome number of prep football players who died of head and neck blows after they had already sustained recent concussions. Maron says the finding comes at a time of growing awareness about concussions, including the dangers of "second-impact syndrome."

The study says most of the deaths were preventable and showed the importance of better equipment, better protocols for when injured athletes should return to action, and possible changes in blocking and tackling rules.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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