Concussion risk greatest during practice for high school and college football players.

Research published this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association - Pediatrics, reveals that more than half of concussions among high school and college football players occur during practices, not games.

For the article summary:

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http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/news/fullstory_152351.html

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A concussion is a traumatic brain injury from a jolt or blow to the head that causes the brain to bounce around in the skull.  This movement affects brain cell function.

If your child plays a contact sport, especially football, it’s important to remember that concussions not only occur during games, but during practice as well. Since there are usually three to four practices per game for younger players and up to ten practices per game for collegiate players, the risk of concussion is great.

 

Here are some ways to reduce the risk:

  • Use proper safety equipment
  • Make sure equipment fits properly
  • Ban intentional head contact in games such as ice hockey and lacrosse
  • Use proper sports techniques, such as safe tackling in football, checking in ice hockey and heading in soccer.  (http://www.sportconcussions.com/riskreduction.php)

Because it’s impossible to eliminate or prevent concussion in sports, knowing the signs of concussion is imperative. If your son or daughter has any of the following after a practice or game, seek medical attention immediately:

  • nausea and or vomiting
  • balance problems/dizziness
  • double or blurry vision
  • sensitivity to light and noise
  • fatigue or drowsiness
  • changes in sleep patterns
  • trouble comprehending and/or concentrating
  • depression
  • irritability, nervousness, or sadness
  • feelings of being "just not right" or in a "fog"

Other danger signs are:

  • seizures
  • not knowing people or places
  • unusual behavior

(Cleveland Clinic - http://my.clevelandclinic.org/services/concussion-center/hic-concussions)

For more information on concussion:

The Center on Brain Injury, Research and Training

http://cbirt.org/concussion-faq/#Fall%20Sports:%20Reducing%20the%20Risks%20of%20Concussion

Brain Injury Association of America

http://www.biausa.org/mild-brain-injury.htm