We as a society are ever more vested in the amount of time we spend on social media. As football season is coming up, the amount of discussions we are hearing about concussions will vastly increase. The term concussion is defined as a traumatic brain injury, in which you may experience a list of symptoms. Symptoms include dizziness, headaches, sensitive to light, poor short term memory, and various others. Concussions can be life altering, sometimes leading to permanent brain damage. The risks of concussions are more prevalent in heavy contact sports, but can also occur in the lesser contact sports such as baseball, where a hit to the head with a baseball or inadvertently running into a teammate could cause a concussion.
What can be done to help limit concussions?
There are a few things that are done fairly easily to ensure the athlete is doing his part in prevention. The most important would be, of course, wearing the proper equipment and wearing it properly. Starting at a young age, the player should be shown the correct way in putting on his equipment and explaining to him/her the importance of doing so. Secondly, making sure the field is adequate without bumps or holes. Running at full speed and hitting a “speed bump” could cause unwanted contacted from opposing players or even teammates. Also using proper techniques in the specific sport is viewed as a top priority by concussion experts. This is where good coaching comes into play. If you are a parent, ask the coach what his/her experience in the sport is. That question alone will give you a lot of information on if you would like your child to play for them or not. Many coaches are now not allowing contact for 2/3rds of football practice. This will greatly limit the amount of time a player has the potential for getting a concussion as well as just limiting a general injury. As a parent you have the upper hand when dealing with concussions, for example you know your child best. If you feel there is any change in their personality, or they are giving you some feedback that sends out caution signals you can get them seen by a doctor to rule out a concussion.
Image from Vestibular Disorders Association