Mass. Schools Report Thousands of Head Injuries in Sports

Monday, October 29, 2012

Nearly 3,000 Massachusetts students suffered a concussion or other head injury while playing sports during the last school year, according to the results of a first-of-its-kind survey completed by 164 schools.

The reports from middle and high schools across Massachusetts, collected under a state law passed in 2010, highlight the extent of the problem at a time when medical experts and sports leagues, from Pop Warner to the NFL, are increasingly worried about the long-term effects of head injuries.

Boston College High School, an all-boys private school in Dorchester with grades 7 through 12, reported the highest number, with 76 head injuries sustained last school year during “extracurricular athletic activities,’’ according to reports released to the Globe by the state Department of Public Health under a public records request. Lexington High School followed with 69 reported head injuries or concussions.

“I think kids now are more aware and recognize the dangers of head trauma,” said Jon Bartlett, athletic director at BC High, which has about 750 students playing 17 sports. “You’re seeing bigger, faster, stronger kids these days, so the collisions are a little more violent than years ago.”

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