Covassin on panel examining concussions

October 31, 2013

Covassin_TraceyMichigan State University faculty member Tracey Covassin is part of a national committee of experts that released a new report this week on the dangers of concussions in youth sports.

According to the authors, young athletes in the U.S. face a “culture of resistance” to reporting when they might have a concussion and to complying with treatment plans, which could endanger their well-being. The report, a project of the Institute for Medicine and the National Research Council, provides a broad examination of concussions in a variety of youth sports with athletes aged 5 to 21.

Among the findings, committee members noted several concussion-related issues in need of further research and said there is little evidence that widely available sports helmets actually reduce the risk of concussions.

Covassin, an associate professor of kinesiology and athletic training at MSU, conducts research on concussions as well as other common injuries in sports. For example, one recent study confirmed that female athletes and younger athletes take longer to recover from concussions.

Even as researchers work to increase awareness about the impact of concussions, many incidents continue to go undetected, or unreported.

“There are still coaches and parents that think kids need to tough it out and continue to play, or if they don’t tell anyone it will go away,” Covassin told HealthDay news service.

For more on the report, including the committee’s full recommendations–and which sports have the highest incidence of concussion–visit