(HealthDay News) – A considerable number of varsity high school football players continue not to seek medical attention for concussion-like symptoms due to concerns of being excluded from play, and most are not concerned about the long-term effects of concussions, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Pediatrics, held from Oct 20–23 in New Orleans.

Michael Israel, MD, from University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock, recruited varsity high school football players to complete a confidential survey about the signs and symptoms of concussion, their awareness of related health risks, and whether the recent increase in information had improved their awareness and impacted their decision to return to play.

The researcher found that, of the 134 responses, 32% reported concussion-like symptoms at some point over the past two years for which they not seek medical attention, while <10% reported that they have been diagnosed with a concussion by a physician or team trainer. More than half of the respondents with concussion-like symptoms said they did not seek medical attention due to concerns of being excluded from play. About half of the participants (53%) reported being more aware of concussion symptoms at present than they were when entering high school, but only 38% reported being concerned about the long-term effects of concussions.

“New evidence about sports-related concussions is constantly being produced, and we as a medical community need to do a better job of disseminating this information to coaches, trainers, and athletic associations to help ensure the safety of their athletes,” Israel said in a statement.

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