Sports-Related Head Injury in Teens Not Only Caused by Football

April 5, 2012

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. injury (n.) 
[in-juh-ree] – damage or harm suffered by a person
Example: The doctor treated the injuries of the player who broke his wrist.

2. proportion (n.) [pruh-pawr-shuhn, -pohr-] – a part of a whole
Example: The highest proportion of the family’s budget goes to educational expenses.

3. vigilant (adj.) [vij-uh-luhnt] – watchful for any danger
Example: Doctors must always be vigilant against new diseases.

4. concussion (n.) [kuhn-kuhsh-uhn] – an injury in the brain that is caused by a strong impact in the head
Example:  Players who hit each other’s head may suffer concussions.

5. syndrome (n.) [sin-drohm, -druhm] – a sickness characterized by proven signs and symptoms
Example: Loss of appetite may indicate malabsorption syndrome, or the inability to absorb food.

Read the text below.
A study in US shows that football may not be the only sport that causes head injuries among high school athletes.

The research that came out in the American Journal of Sports Medicine says that almost half of reported concussions occurred in girls’ soccer and basketball, boy’s wrestling, ice hockey and lacrosse. Unlike football, these sports do not involve full body contact.

Girls’ soccer accounts for 8% of the total cases, while girls’ basketball and boys’ wrestling takes 6% each. Boys’ ice hockey, on the other hand, caused fewer head injuries, but 22% of all ice hockey injuries are concussions, the highest proportion among all other sports.

Another significant finding reveals that girls have 70% more cases of head injuries than boys. This may be attributed to weaker neck strength in girls, says Christy Collins, a senior research associate at Nationwide Children's Hospital.

Lead researcher Natalie McIlvain added that head injuries also happen even in non-contact sports, such as softball, gymnastics, cheerleading and swimming.

In recent years, cases of concussion in US have increased as more people get involved in contact sports and more athletes train at a young age. In addition, doctors are becoming more vigilant in diagnosing such injuries.

To ensure the safety of students, doctors are advised to withhold patients from playing until they are completely healed. This prevents the risk of "second-impact syndrome in which patients suffering another head blow, experience much severe damages, such as bleeding inside the skull. 

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

·         Do you think that injuries are a natural part of sports? Why or why not?
·         Can you think of ways to prevent or lessen the number of sports-related injuries?

Discussion B

·         Why do you think some people play risky sports despite the dangers?
·         On the other hand, what hinders others from playing sports?


April 5, 2012