ST. PAUL, Minn. - A new report shows hockey and football players have the highest concussion rates in Minnesota high school sports.
The report released Thursday is based on data the Minnesota Department of Health collected from 36 Twin Cities-area schools during the last academic year.
It estimates 3,000 high school athletes were concussed statewide last year.
"The Minnesota Department of Health found that during the 2013-2014 academic year, athletic trainers in the Twin Cities reported 730 concussions," reported Health Commissioner Ed Ehclinger. "Based on this, the Minnesota Department of health estimates that Minnesota High School students suffered nearly 3,000 sports-related concussions during that 2013-2014 school year. This breaks down to nearly 22 concussions per school."
Concussions were once considered part of the game, but schools and sports leagues have begun taking steps to protect players. Minnesota lawmakers passed a bill in 2011 requiring coaches to remove young athletes from the game if they show concussion symptoms.
"We don't want kids playing with lingering symptoms," said Lori Glover, an athletic trainer with the Institute for Athletic Medicine at Fairview Health Services. "In fact, nobody should be in competition with any symptoms from a concussion. So, it's important that everybody's truthful and everybody seeks appropriate medical attention."
Ehlinger says their research should be a signal to coaches and parents that concussions need to be taken seriously. State officials plan to expand their research to schools statewide this year.