With the arrival of fall right around the corner, sports season is officially here! We love cheering on our teams alongside parents, students and faculty, but are reminded of the potential risks student athletes face every day.
Research shows that Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) are the leading cause of sports related deaths. A concussion can cause short changes in mental condition, to long term unconsciousness, comas, and even death. Many concussions come from a powerful blow to the head. Additionally, a player can sustain a concussion from a blow to the neck or other places of the body that transmit dangerous forces towards the head.
If you know someone that plays football, soccer, hockey, lacrosse or any type of contact sport you should know the signs of a TBI:
- Immediate Signs: Headache, blurry vision, confusion, dizziness, ringing in ears, slurred speech, fatigue, memory loss
- Delayed Signs: Consistent memory loss, irritability or manic episodes, trouble sleeping, sensitivity to light/noise, anxiety, depression, mood swings
Here are a few tips for prevention:
- Limit full contact drills
- Avoid illegal contact on the field
- Wear a helmet and protective gear at all times while on the field
- Make sure players are being trained in proper form
- Promote sportsmanship, fair play, and safety
- Make sure the athlete is wearing a properly fitting helmet and gear that is in good condition
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