A report from the Institute of Medicine and National Research Council also found after a broad examination of concussions in a variety of youth sports that a "culture of resistance" to reporting concussions was prevalent, limiting the amount of useful research.
"The findings of our report justify the concerns about sports concussions in young people," study director Robert Graham of George Washington University said. "However, there are numerous areas in which we need more and better data."
Along with football, the study found boys playing lacrosse, soccer and baseball suffered concussions at higher rates than their collegiate counterparts.
Overall, youth football, hockey, lacrosse, wrestling, soccer, and girls and women's basketball had the higher concussion rates.
While urging the continued use of protective gear, the study also found "little evidence" current sports helmet designs reduce the risk of concussions.
Until more extensive research is performed, Graham said the institute is urging "parents, schools, athletic departments and the public to examine carefully what we do know, as with any decision regarding risk, so they can make more informed decisions about young athletes playing sports."
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