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October 19, 2009

Girls suffering concussions at alarming rate

Listen up, parents of female athletes: Your daughters are at great risk for concussions.

Far more, in fact, than their male counterparts.

While there has been a renewed nationwide attention on concussions sustained by football players at all levels, the hidden truth is this: In sports that both males and females play, such as soccer or basketball, girls suffer concussions at a far higher rate than boys.

And their concussions tend to be more severe and need a longer recovery time, according to a story by Jackie Frideman in Sunday's editions of The Star-Ledger in New Jersey.

Concussions aren't just for football players. In fact, the rate of concussions for girls in basketball is 68 percent greater than boys in the same sport.

The reason is two-fold: Boys tend to have stronger necks to better absorb a blow to the head. And boys, through years of rough-housing as youths, tend to have a stronger knowledge of how to handle themselves in a collison.

Friedman's story profiles the issue through the life of junior Niki Popyer, a once promising basketball player at Marlboro (N.J.) High School.

Popyer went from star player who started at one of the state's top teams as a freshman to a part-time student who couldn't handle the sensory overload of a school day.

Popyer, who has had 11 concussions - some coming from a seemingly incidental knock on the head - will never play sports again.

Instead, she's just learning how to get through the day. How to concentrate without getting headaches. How to hang out with friends in even the mildest of atmospheres. How, simply put, to cry without pain.

If you have a daughter playing competitive sports, Friedman's story is a must-read. is your source for: College Football | Football Recruiting | College Basketball | Basketball Recruiting | College Baseball | High School | College Merchandise
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