PHOENIX - The dangers of a concussion and its side effects have been gaining more attention recently.
A new study by Barrow Neurological Institute shows parents are taking their children out of football and opting for other sports.
But the reality may be football isn’t the worst sport when it comes to the risk of head injury.
Girls' sports are also on the radar now with a risk of concussion that may be worse than boys' football.
Take cheerleading, for example. Concussions make up 31 percent of the injuries, according to the institute.
The doctors' emphasis is shifting, because the hospital's recent study that shows football has the highest number of incidents yet not the highest rate. Girls' soccer has the highest rate.
Barrow doctors said the studies they've done so far have benefited high school sports around the country.
"We have policies that have come out of Arizona that have been adopted nationally,” said Javier Cardenas, MD, a sports neurologist with the hospital. “We have the helmet dislodgement rule, contact practice rules, including things like blind-side blocking."
If your child plays any kind of sport, here's what you should keep your eye on:
Dizziness, headaches, a change in personality, trouble in school and with thinking, loss of consciousness, seizures and fatigue.
Any sign of concussion should mean the athlete is immediately pulled from the playing, and contact your doctor.
Call 911 if it is a life-threatening emergency.
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