Micky Collins, the director of the Pittsburg Medical Center’s Sports Medicine Concussion Program, recently told the Columbus Dispatch that it is imperative that concussion awareness filter to younger athletes, even pre-teens, who participate in sports.
Collins told the paper that the human brain continues to develop until the early 20s, and that younger athletes don’t have the same neck strength as adults. He added that the strength of a player’s neck sometimes determines the severity of a concussion.
Others agree. Noted concussion expert Bob Cantu has even gone so far as recommend banning all headers in girls’ soccer until the age of 14, stating the fact that young girls’ necks are typically not as strong as their male counterparts. “The same force delivered to a girl’s head spins the head much more because of the weak neck than it does the guys,” Cantu has been quoted as saying.