On the field and on the court: What are symptoms of concussions?

ConcussionAlmost half a million kids are treated in the ER each year for traumatic brain injuries, including concussions, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That’s enough to fill more than 5,000 of the nation’s largest school buses to capacity.

Research shows that young children and teens are more likely to suffer a concussion and take longer to recover than adults.

Athletes who have, at any point in their lives, had a concussion are at an increased risk for another concussion.

Recently, USA Football tackled the issue with an initiative called Heads Up Football. In July, the organization hosted an interactive class for local coaches in Gettysburg, PA. But it’s important to note football is only one sport during which symptoms of concussions may occur.
From soccer to basketball and baseball, coaches and athletes need to know the symptoms of concussions whether on the court or on the field.

As sports seasons restart, coaches, parents and players should keep these safety tips from the CDC in mind:

As a coach …

Require players to wear helmets when applicable. Not all sports provide this opportunity, e.g. basketball, but when possible, wearing a helmet can help protect athletes from serious brain or head injuries.

Encourage good sportsmanship at all times.

Know the symptoms of concussions often observed by coaches, when an athlete:

  • Appears dazed or stunned
  • Is confused about an assignment or position
  • Forgets an instruction
  • Is unsure of the game score or opponent
  • Moves clumsily
  • Answers questions slowly
  • Loses consciousness (even briefly)
  • Shows mood, behavior or personality changes
  • Can’t recall events before and/or after hit or fall

If you think an athlete has a concussion:

  • Remove the athlete from play and seek medical attention
  • Keep the athlete out of play the day of the injury
  • An athlete should only return to play with permission from an appropriate health care professional

As a parent …

Learn the symptoms of concussions, often reported by athletes:

  • Headache or feeling of pressure in the head
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Balance problems or dizziness
  • Double or blurry vision
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Sensitivity to noise
  • Feeling sluggish, hazy, foggy or groggy
  • Concentration or memory problems
  • Confusion
  • Just not “feeling right” or “feeling down”

If your child has a concussion:

  • Seek medical attention and follow up on treatment
  • While an athlete’s brain is healing, he or she is much more likely to suffer another concussion
  • Repeat concussions increase the time it takes to recover
  • In rare cases, repeat concussions can result in brain swelling, permanent damage to the brain, or even death
  • Rest is key to recovery
  • Exercising or activities that involve concentration, such as studying, working on the computer and playing video games, may cause concussion symptoms to reappear or worsen
  • Returning to sports should be a gradual process, monitored by a health care professional
  • Concussions affect people differently. Some athletes will recover quickly and fully, while others will have symptoms that last for days, weeks, or even months

As a player …

  • Take note of any bump, blow or jolt to your body
  • Concussions may result from any forceful impact, not just to your head
  • A concussion may happen even if you haven’t been knocked out
  • Report any symptoms of concussions
  • Do not hesitate to talk to your coach or parent if you’re feeling any symptom
  • Ask to be removed from play for the remainder of the game
  • Immediately seek attention from a health care professional
  • Adhere to the recommendations of health care professionals
  • Head injuries often take a long time to heal and can affect your ability to do schoolwork and other everyday activities
  • It’s important to listen to the advice of health care professionals, to protect you from repeat concussions or permanent brain damage

KBG Injury Law specializes in helping those who have suffered head injuries. Contact one of our skilled attorneys 24/7 to get the Results You Deserve®.