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Concussions Take Toll on Female High School Athletes

Nov. 14, 2014 NBC Washington

More than 1,100 local high school girls suffered from concussions or concussion symptoms while playing extracurricular sports last year, according to a review of school health records by the News4 I-Team.

The number far surpasses the number of local high school football players who’ve suffered head injuries and it indicates school districts are responding to health concerns in a variety of popular after-school sports.

Public schools, some of which have recently deployed trainers to monitor games and practices, maintain databases on the number of students who are pulled from activities because of suspected head injuries. Though concussions are often associated with football – from high school level through the National Football League – local school district reports indicate head injuries are frequent among girls participating in soccer, field hockey and cheerleading.

Fairfax County Public Schools health records showed 107 high school girls were removed from district soccer teams with suspected concussions last year. The I-Team review found hundreds more soccer concussions combined in Montgomery County, Frederick County (Md), Prince William County, Anne Arundel County, Loudoun County and Arlington schools.

Ashley Toy, a senior at Tuscarora High School in Frederick, said she’s seen several fellow soccer players suffer concussions during games. Toy said, “Sometimes they blackout. It’s really scary, honestly.”

Field hockey and cheerleader concussions were also frequent in local school districts. Female athletes in Prince William County suffered almost 160 concussions or concussion symptoms last year, the I-Team found. In Anne Arundel and Montgomery counties, almost 100 girls were pulled from games for head injury symptoms.

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