Concussions In Sports

By: Bailey Rainforth

Athletic Issues in School

Our group decided to look into athletic issues in sports. I researched in the area of concussions. This topic interested me since my brother is a football player and I have had several friends that suffered concussions due to sports in jr. high/high school. In fact high school student athletes suffer thousands of concussions every year. First I looked into what a concussion is, a concussion is whenever a child's mental status changes due to a blow to the head. Sports related concussions result in mental and physical symptoms. Symptoms can include things like inability to concentrate, forgetfulness, headache, fatigue, dizziness, sensitive to light, etc. These symptoms usually disappear after 10 days if the concussion is treated the right way. However when repeated concussions occur it can be life-threatening and parents should ALWAYS seek evaluation immediately.

What can schools do to help and prevention measures

Schools and coaches play a big part in noticing and spreading awareness to athletes about what concussions are. Imaging modalities like CT scans, MRIs, and PET scans are very effective in determining structural abnormalities in the brain after a traumatic injury. Schools also should have Neuropsychological testing. Neuropsychological tests are designed to measure cognitive skills and abilities such as intelligence, problem solving, memory, concentration, impulse control, and reaction time. At the Sports Concussion Institute, both computerized and standard paper-and-pencil tests are utilized to gather evidence-based, comprehensive data on cognitive functioning before by a Baseline Test and after Post-Injury Test a concussion injury occurs. All 50 states have laws to protect young athletes suspected of having a concussion. The law states that no one with even a slight concussion should return to play the day after the injury. All athletes should be evaluated and cleared by a doctor before returning to practices/games.

Visit this website for printable posters to hang around schools and locker rooms so everyone is aware of concussion safety

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Facts on Concussions

  • CDC estimates reveal that 1.6 million to 3.8 million concussions occur each year
  • 5-10% of athletes will experience a concussion in any given sport season
  • Fewer than 10% of sport related concussions involve a Loss of Consciousness
  • Football is the most common sport with concussion risk for males (75% chance for concussion)
  • Soccer is the most common sport with concussion risk for females (50% chance for concussion)
  • 78% of concussions occur during games (as opposed to practices)
  • Some studies suggest that females are twice as likely to sustain a concussion as males
  • Headache (85%) and Dizziness (70-80%) are most commonly reported symptoms immediately following concussions for injured athletes
  • Estimated 47% of athletes do not report feeling any symptoms after a concussive blow
  • A professional football player will receive an estimated 900 to 1500 blows to the head during a season