Athlete Concussions By: Payden

What is the main reason that kids are getting concussions?

Kids are mostly getting concussions when they get into a collision while playing sports. Often times people ignore learning the facts about concussion that they should know. “An estimated 1.6-3.8 million sports- and recreation-related concussions occur in the United States each year,” according to the Brain Injury Research Institute. Concussions are a serious issue and to this day there are way too many happening which causes a large risk to your health. Also, kids are not always following the rules and doing illegal hits in contact sports. According to the Sports Concussion Institute, the main ways that kids are getting concussions is that “it can be caused either by a direct blow to the head, or an indirect blow to the body, causing neurological impairments that may resolve spontaneously.” This is a huge issue because these hits and blows can be harmful to both people instead of just one person. Hits to the head creates a much higher risk of acquiring a head injury.

How can kids recover from concussions?

The first thing people do to recover from a concussion is to visit a doctor to get the diagnosis of the injury. Certain doctors and facilities can provide specific scans that can help determine specific concussion types so they can treat the injury. “Patients at SCI will undergo vestibular balance testing which has been shown to be an effective, empirically driven approach to managing concussions,” according to the Sports Concussion Institute. With this quality technology people can easily get their head injuries scanned to make their recovery much easier and proper. Besides doing simple procedures on your own time to recover, a professional will still need to overview the injury to make it clear to play again. The Brain Injury Research Institute stated that only a “health care professional will be able to decide when it is safe to return to sports.” A doctor needs to approve your injury so you can finally return to play at a regular basis. If a doctor does not approve the head injury, you need to follow the steps to recover from a concussion.

What are the steps in order to recover from a concussion?

To recover from a concussion there is a 6 step process to follow in order to return to play. Athletic Training claims that there are 6 stages of recovery from a concussion and the steps are recovery, light aerobic exercise, sport specific exercise, non-contact training drills, full-contact practice, and return to play. These steps are very important to follow because the injury could be aggravated and cause the injury to be more serious. At times it is important to get an inner scanning of the brain to help detect the issue to the finest point. The Sports Concussion Institute, stated that a step to recover from concussions is that “most imaging techniques can reveal skull fractures and internal bleeding and lesions on the brain, and they can be informational tests if the person is experiencing prolonged symptoms days and/or weeks following the injury.” If your testing approves as clear, then it is safe for you to return to play. After being cleared, you are more likely to prevent from concussions.

How can people prevent from getting concussions?

There have been a number of different theories and methods to prevent concussions; the best way for kids to prevent getting concussions is to wear proper gear and to play by the rules in the game. Bianj Sports concussions says that the number one way to prevent concussions is to “Play by the rules… Teaching young athletes to respect the rules of their sport is part of good coaching.” Athletes need to know the rules of the game before stepping onto the field to help oneself and others stay safe. Another way to prevent from concussions is to use safe and proper equipment. The Mayo Clinic Staff announced, “Always use the appropriate protective gear for any sport you or your child undertakes.” The gear used always needs to be up to date and checked so it is still safe to use as an athlete to help prevent from concussions. There are still many other ways to prevent from concussions.

What other research can be done to help prevent concussions?

Some other research that can be done is improving the gear to help resist contact to prevent head injuries. Safety is incredibly important for anyone playing sports. “The National Football League, facing a class-action lawsuit from hundreds of former players regarding head trauma, is dedicating large amounts of funding to research the problem, and helmet manufacturers are frantically searching for the innovation that will best protect players from the dreaded concussion,” according to the NFL. The NFL has addressed this problem and is trying to make a stop to the long lasting issue. It is important the helmet that kids are wearing have the proper design to keep them safe. According to Sports-Related Concussions in Youth, “Helmets are designed to mitigate the likelihood of head injuries from an impact to the head by dissipating and distributing the energy of impact and protecting the head from penetration.” The development of helmets have dramatically improved in the last handful of years and are still going to be improved in the future to help prevent concussions.

Glossary

Awareness- being able to identify certain symptoms

Compliance- the rules or standards to a certain degree

Coordination- being able to see and react responsibly

Full-Contact- being able to tackle and hit people in sports with proper technique

Protocol- certain steps to gain back to health

Recovery- After the treatment plan, physical therapy to regain strength.

Subconcussive- very dangerous hits to the head that cause the brain to malfunction

Treatment- the process to repair an injury instantly

Works Cited

“Concussions are a Fact of Life in Today’s Sports World.” Sports Concussion Institute, 25 Mar. 2015, http://www.concussiontreatment.com/concussionfacts.html#sfaq3

Harvey, Matt. “NCAA, NFL efforts to address head injuries aren't nearly enough.” The Exponent Telegram, NCWV Media, 23 Jan. 2017, http://www.theet.com/opinion/op-ed_columns/ncaa-nfl-efforts-to-address-head-injuries-aren-t-nearly/article_a2f8145d-3393-5728-8f57-382d75cc52f7.html.

Jacobs, Melissa. “Week Under Review: Concussion protocol remains unreliable after Matt Moore’s hit.” Fox Sports, Sports Illustrated, 9 Jan. 2017, http://www.foxsports.com/nfl/story/nfl-playoffs-concussion-protocol-matt-moore-thomas-rawls-week-under-review-010917?scrlybrkr=f552574b.

Marczi, Matthew. “Rapoport: Steelers ‘Believed’ Ladarius Green Would ‘Be Back This Week’.” Steelers Depot, Wordpress, 18 Jan. 2017, http://www.steelersdepot.com/2017/01/rapoport-steelers-believed-ladarius-green-back-week/.

Mayo Clinic Staff. “Prevention.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 2 Apr. 2014, http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/concussion/basics/prevention/con-20019272?scrlybrkr=13d6a5a3

McGowan Lowrey, Kerri. “State Experiences Implementing Youth Sports Concussion Laws: Challenges, Successes, and Lessons for Evaluating Impact.” Explora Teens, Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics, 1 Sep. 2014, http://web.b.ebscohost.com/src_ic/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=7&sid=97aa6718-f9ef-440d-8372-62e566e6eea2%40sessionmgr101&hid=128

“What is a Concussion?” Protect The Brain, Brain Injury Research Institute, 12 Dec. 2016, http://www.protectthebrain.org/Brain-Injury-Research/What-is-a-Concussion-.aspx

Credits:

Created with images by keijj44 - "football american football player" • University of the Fraser Valley - "Concussion study-Gaetz-GW Graham 27" • KOMUnews - "Football Helmet" • hsariman - "personally trainer fitness" • IsaacMao - "Brain" • keijj44 - "professional football player nfl" • Erin Costa - "NFL"

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