Concussions have gained a lot of media attention in recent years, and for good reasons. These are dangerous brain injuries that can have a long-term impact on young athletes. It is crucial that parents, coaches, doctors, athletic trainers and the athletes themselves take a concussion very seriously.
In this video, I stress the importance of removing any player suspected of having a concussion and athletes telling someone they suffered an injury.
Removing any player suspected of having a concussion from a game or practice is a good start. Coaches, athletic trainers and doctors must recognize the signs and symptoms of concussions and pull the player out. The risk of a much more serious injury increases dramatically if the concussed player returns before his brain has fully healed.
Ideally the parents of the concussed athlete would have the child fully evaluated by a neurologist or neuropsychologist familiar with concussions and concussion evaluation. Physicians could use cognitive and psychological tests to fully evaluate the brain function rather than relying on the athlete admitting symptoms.
Parents and coaches should stress to the athletes that they must tell someone that they have suffered a head injury. The player needs to understand the symptoms – whether they are having headaches, dizziness, sensitivity to light, blurry vision, nausea or any others – and tell the coach. He can tell the team doctor or athletic trainer. We have seen how athletes at all levels of football, from the NFL to high school, deny symptoms to stay in the game. That attitude must change.
In my new book, That’s Gotta Hurt: The Injuries That Changed Sports Forever, I discuss concussions, CTE and the risk of playing football for young athletes. If you have kids who play football, you should read it and take steps to keep your kids healthy. Click here to get your copy!