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SOURCE: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (visit their website »)
A concussion is not just a bump on the head.
From our work with Iraq and Afghanistan veterans who have suffered traumatic brain injuries (TBI), the Laurus Foundation is very much aware of the severity of all brain injuries and ...
A CONCUSSION IS A BRAIN INJURY.
Although the severity of a concussion does vary, all concussions are potentially serious injuries. As professional sports begins to treat concussions more seriously, more and more youth sports teams, athletic trainers, parents, and athletes are doing likewise. We applaud organizations like the Chicago Wolves who see the need for effective concussion education.
It was not that long ago that a concussion was treated more casually. Often referred to simply as "getting your bell rung," players were not properly diagnosed on the sidelines or rink side. Even worse, some youth athletes were encouraged to just tough it out.
Fortunately, that attitude is becoming a thing of the past. With effective awareness campaigns in the schools and initiatives like the PACE program — a baseline testing program committed to testing 1 million student athletes nationwide sponsored by Dick's Sporting Goods, the word is getting out — concussions are not just a bump on the head.
- According to CDC estimates, 1.6-3.8 m sports and recreation related concussions occur each year in the U.S.
- 10% of all contact sport athletes sustain concussions yearly.
- Brain injuries cause more deaths than any other sports injury. In football, brain injuries account for 65% to 95% of all fatalities. Football injuries associated with the brain occur at the rate of one in every 5.5 games. In any given season, 10% of all college players and 20% of all high school players sustain brain injuries.
- 87% of professional boxers have sustained a brain injury.
- 5% of soccer players sustain brain injuries as a result of their sport.
- The head is involved in more baseball injuries than any other body part. Almost half of the injuries involve a child's head, face, mouth or eyes.
- An athlete who sustains concussion is 4-6 times more likely to sustain a second concussion.
- Effects of concussion are cumulative in athletes who return to play prior to complete recovery.
- Up to 86% of athletes that suffer a concussion will experience Post-Traumatic Migraine or some other type of headache pain. In fact, recent evidence indicates that presence and severity of headache symptoms may be a very significant indicator of severity of head injury and help guide return-to-play decisions.
Source: Sports Concussion Institute
What to do
If you suspect that an athlete has a concussion, you should take the following four steps:
- Remove the athlete from play.
- Ensure that the athlete is evaluated by a health care professional experienced in evaluating for concussion. Do not try to judge the seriousness of the injury yourself.
- Inform the athlete's parents or guardians about the possible concussion and give them the fact sheet on concussion.
- Keep the athlete out of play the day of the injury and until a health care professional, experienced in evaluating for concussion*, says they are symptom-free and it's OK to return to play.
A Note to Parents: Please take concussions seriously. Become informed. Talk with your son or daughter's coach or athletic trainer. Ask them to explain to you in detail what the team's policies are for concussion management and return-to-play decision making.
The information in the sidebar will help you become informed, ask the right questions, and together with your son or daughter, make the right decisions about concussion prevention and concussion management.
*Not all health care professionals or athletic trainers are experienced in concussion diagnosis or concussion management. Do not be afraid to ask if they are certified in dealing with concussions.