(HealthDay News) — For high school football players who sustain concussion due to player-to-player collisions, impact location has a minimal effect on outcome, according to a study published online August 11 in Pediatrics.

Zachary Y. Kerr, PhD, MPH, from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and colleagues describe the epidemiology of concussions resulting from player-to-player collision by impact location. Data were collected from the National High School Sports-Related Injury Surveillance Study from 2008–2009 to 2012–2013.

The researchers found that in player-to-player collisions, most concussions occurred from front-of-the-head and side-of-the-head impacts (44.7 and 22.3%, respectively). Impact location was not associated with the number of symptoms reported, prevalence of reported symptoms, symptom resolution time, or length of time to return to play. The proportion of players sustaining concussions who experienced loss of consciousness was larger for those with top-of-the-head impacts vs. impacts to other areas of the head (8.0 vs. 3.5%; injury proportion ratio, 2.3; P=0.008). The proportion of players with their head down at the time of impact was higher for concussions caused by top-of-the-head impacts vs. concussions from impacts to other areas of the head (86.4 vs. 24%; injury proportion ratio, 3.6; P<0.001).

“Recommended strategies for reducing the proportion of top-of-the-head impacts include improved education regarding tackling with proper ‘head-up’ technique,” the authors write.

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