AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 26, Number 4, 2017

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Exposure to Head Impacts in Youth Football Practice Drills

Researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center examined differences in the number, location, and magnitude of head impacts sustained by young athletes during various youth football practice drills. Such information could lead to recommendations for football practices, including modification of some high-intensity drills in order to reduce players’ exposure to head impacts and, consequently, lessen the risks of injury. Detailed information on the findings of this study can be found in the article, “Head impact exposure measured in a single youth football team during practice drills,” by Mireille E. Kelley, MS (a graduate student in Biomedical Engineering at Wake Forest Baptist), et al., published today in the Journal of Neurosurgery: Pediatrics 
(http://www.thejns.org/doi/full/10.3171/2017.5.PEDS16627).

Much has been written about concussions sustained by youths engaged in football. However, other less severe head impacts are frequently experienced by young athletes throughout the football season. And, important to note, studies have shown that far more head impacts occur during football practice drills than during games.

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