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Helmets could be a smart addition in girls’ lacrosse

A study on youth lacrosse injuries published earlier this week highlights the potential benefit of helmets for female players. In high school girls’ lacrosse, which typically requires only goggles and mouth guards, 63 percent of concussions are caused by a ball or stick striking players’ heads.

The study, published in the American Journal of Sports Medicine on Tuesday and co-authored by a researcher from the Colorado School of Public Health, explored the causes and rates of injuries in boys’ and girls’ high school lacrosse. The sport is the fastest-growing youth sport in the nation, with around 170,000 players participating at the high school level.

In contrast to concussions sustained in girls’ lacrosse, where full body contact is prohibited, 74 percent of concussions sustained by boys were due to collisions with other players. In boys’ lacrosse, full contact is permitted and helmets and pads are already the norm. Currently, Florida is the only state requiring helmets for female players, but the rule is new and won’t take effect until this fall.

Overall, sprains and strains were the most common injury sustained by both male and female lacrosse players. Concussions were the second most common for both genders, making up 22 percent of injuries in boys and 23 percent of injuries in girls.

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