A study published in the September 2010 issue of Pediatrics reports the number of sports-related concussions is highest in high school-aged athletes, but the number in younger athletes is significant and rising. Visits to emergency departments for minor traumatic brain injuries occurring during organized team sports have increased dramatically over a 10-year period, and appear to be highest in ice hockey and football.

What should schools being doing to protect their students? For one thing, every coach can take the free online concussion training course offered by the Center for Disease Control. The course, which is designed for parents as well as coaches, includes video segments, quizzes and a resource center. It takes approximately 40 minutes to complete, but the time will vary because it’s interactive. The training dispels many of the “myths” about brain injuries that we’ve blogged about previously here and here.