If the NFL has begun to educate their players on concussion awareness, maybe all sporting enthusiasts should follow suit. In schools at all levels there is no agreed upon care for head injuries. A concussion can change a player’s life and a player’s family lives forever.
Concussions can happen to anyone who injures their brain through a blow to the head; that can result in loss of consciousness. Trauma to the brain when mild can be called mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI), mild head injury (MHI), minor head trauma and concussion.
Factors that contribute to increasing the risk of TBI include:
* A previous concussion or head injury
* Sex: being a male
* Specific age groups: ( 1) Children age o to 5 years, teens, (2) young adults 15 to 24 years of age, and (3) older people over 75 years of age
* Contact sports, such as football, soccer, rugby, hockey or boxing
* Work that involves farming, logging, , or construction
* Traveling by vehicle at a high rate of speed
* Alcohol use
* Lack of sleep
* Medications that cause drowsiness
* Listlessness, memory problems or tiring easily
* Irritability, hypersensitivity of the senses, or lack of patience with self or others
* Changes in normal habits: eating or sleeping patterns, behaviors, school performance, decrease motivation
* Decreasing interest in being with friends, playing with favorite toys, activities, or sports
* Loss of new skills, such as toilet training, jumping, bike riding, spelling or reading
* Change in balance, dizziness, visual field disturbances, unsteady walking, ringing in ears
Concussions among high-school athletes occur with alarming frequency. The report from the Government Accountability Office finds that three national databases of concussions among high school athletes are too low. Surprisingly only Texas, Oregon and Washington have enacted laws to meaningfully tackle the issue, the GAO reports. Oregon and Texas require athletes to be removed from play the day of the injury, while Washington gives coaches responsibility for removal.
Just taking an injured person off the field is not enough. All coaches need training to recognize and be able to administer several cognitive tests to test for memory and physical impairment. recovery often takes much longer. The Concussion Clinic at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Ohio estimates 400,000 concussions occurred among 7.5 million student athletes who participated in high-school sports during the 2008-2009 school year.
A recent clinical study by the Children’s National Medical Center in Washington found that more than 80% of student athletes who experienced concussions reported a significant worsening of symptoms over the first four weeks after attempting to return to school academics. Typically when the stress of school activities increases concentration and the ability to remember and respond appropriately overload the brain’s biological software and the result is an increase in post-concussion symptoms. These symptoms would only be exasperated for an individual with learning or behavior challenges.
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