Concussion Safety Tips

Concussion Safety Tips

The fall season signifies the start of many activities, including school and sports such as football. With the onslaught of so much activity, it’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle and forget about safety. If your child is playing a sport this school year, it’s important to put safety first.

Many people think that the potential for serious injuries such as concussions is reserved for high-impact sports like football. However, the reality is that concussions can happen in any sport or recreational activity. Understanding the signs of a concussion and how to prevent one is crucial.

Signs And Symptoms Of A Concussion

The signs of a concussion differ from the observer to the athlete. In either case, the first clue is always that the athlete has been involved in an incident where there is a forceful movement that results in rapid movement of the head. After such a blow, the athlete should be aware of certain feelings that include headache, nausea, dizziness, blurred vision, light or noise sensitivity, ear ringing and confusion.

Whether you’re a parent, coach or fan in the stands, here are signs that indicate a concussion:

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Memory loss
  • Confusion
  • Instability or clumsiness
  • Clear fluid or blood from the ears or nose
  • Paralysis or difficulty moving
  • Numbness
  • Vomiting

Signs of a concussion may not be present immediately after the incident. They may persist for days or weeks. After an injury to the head, keep these symptoms in mind and immediately visit a doctor if the athlete experiences any of them.

Tips For Concussion Prevention

Although not always possible, there are ways to help prevent sports concussions. These include:

  • Using proper athletic technique
  • Checking that equipment is sized correctly and in good working order
  • Using a mouth guard to help absorb shock
  • Conditioning the neck with strength training
  • Wearing proper footwear to reduce slipping and falling

If you or your child has experienced a concussion in a sport or other related activity, it’s important to be seen by a doctor immediately. While most athletes will recover just fine, some may experience more serious brain injury. Every brain injury has the potential to alter the personality, thought processes and emotional life of the victim. Your best bet is to take precautions to prevent injuries. In the event of a potential brain injury, know the symptoms, take them seriously and get immediate medical help.

Sources:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Injury Prevention & Control: Traumatic Brain Injury

Long Island Newsday, “NJ-Based Atlantic Neurosurgical Specialists (NAS) Launch Tips on Concussion Awareness and Sports-safety Tips,” Sept. 4, 2013