Are You Ready for Some Football? Don’t Let a Concussion Wreck the Season.
Recognizing the Signs of a Concussion is Key to Avoiding Serious or Permanent Brain Injury
Football season has officially “kicked off” at local parks, high school and university stadiums, and professional and semi-professional league arenas. While it is important for little leaguers, high school jocks, college players and pro athletes to “keep their heads in the game” in order to increase their teams’ chances of victory, it’s even more vital to protect their heads from game-related traumatic brain injuries, including concussions.
Concussions, which are caused by a bump or a blow to the head, are common in football. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 1.7 million people experience traumatic brain injuries each year, and 75% of these injuries are concussions. An estimated 173,285 children and adolescents are treated by emergency rooms each year for traumatic brain injuries.
Often, the symptoms of a concussion do not appear until days or weeks after an injury. Loss of consciousness usually does not occur with a concussion, so do not assume that because an athlete is still conscious he has not experienced a concussion. Common symptoms of a concussion are:
- Double or blurred vision
- Memory Loss
- Sensitivity to light and noise
- Inability to Concentrate
If players experience any of these signs after suffering a blow to the head during football practice or a game, immediate medical attention should be sought. Failure to treat a concussion can lead to long-term brain injuries and, in some instances, death.
Tips for Avoiding and Recovering From Concussions
The CDC recommends athletes take the following steps to reduce the likelihood of concussion when playing football:
- Follow the coach’s rules for safety and the rules for football.
- Practice good sportsmanship at all times.
- Wear the correct protective equipment. Protective equipment should fit properly and be well maintained.
- Wear a helmet.
After a concussion, athletes should follow these CDC recommendations:
- Seek immediate medical attention.
- Get a lot of rest.
- Avoid activities that are physically demanding (e.g., sports, heavy housecleaning, working-out) or require a lot of concentration (e.g., sustained computer use, video games).
- Do not drive a car, ride a bike, or operate heavy equipment until the physician clears you to do so.
- Do not drink alcohol.
This update has been prepared by Council & Associates for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. The information is not provided in the course of an attorney-client relationship and is not a substitute for legal advice from a licensed attorney in your jurisdiction.