The Ultimate Guide toConcussionsin Youth Sports

Did you know that a head injury isn’t the only way to get a concussion? Or that once a player sustains a concussion, their chances of more greatly increase? Could you spot the signs of a concussion on the sidelines?

This is your one-stop shop for everything you need to know about concussions.

  • Watch…
  • …listen…
  • …& read…

…to increase your knowledge, including symptoms, causes, prevention and the science behind them.

Featured Podcast

Get Educated on Concussions and CTE

Did you know that there were 182 reported concussions in the 2015 NFL season? It’s a frightening statistic, especially considering that an estimated 50% of concussions go unreported. Chris Nowinski, co-founder and executive director of the Concussion Legacy Foundation, goes in depth on concussions, second-impact syndrome, post-concussion syndrome and CTE. Listen in!

Listen now
A hockey helmet, which is important for concussion prevention.

What is a Concussion?

A concussion is a traumatic brain injury usually caused by a blow to the head or body.

Despite what you might have heard in the past, concussions are not just bumps on the head—they’re serious head injuries that are often overlooked due to unfamiliarity with the symptoms. In fact, according to a study by the American Academy of Pediatrics, 50% of parents among a group of 500 could not correctly identify the signs of a concussion. If we want to make youth sports safe for our kids, we need to correctly identify concussion symptoms.

A soccer player lying on the grass. He is showing concussion symptoms.
A soccer player lying on the grass. He is showing concussion symptoms.

51%

Female

A pictorial graph showing that 51% of females who play soccer suffer concussions.

69%

Male

A pictorial graph showing that 69% of males who play soccer suffer concussions.

Percentage of concussions player-to-player NOT headers

Article

Concussions Don’t Only Happen to Football Players

Concussions are becoming more and more common among soccer players—but not because of headers. In fact, according to a recent study, 69% of concussions among male soccer players and 51% among female players were caused by player-to-player contact—not headers.

Full Story Here

Article

Do You Know the Warning Signs of a Concussion?

According to a study by the American Academy of Pediatrics, many parents and coaches cannot spot the signs of a concussion. Among the over 500 parents and coaches polled, 50% of parents and over 40% of coaches would send an athlete with symptoms of a head injury back into a game before being examined by a doctor. Yikes!

Learn More
A young boy and coach. The coach is examining the youth sports player for signs of a concussion.

What Are Concussion Symptoms?

Symptoms of a concussion can vary, but some of the most common ones are…

  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Disorientation
  • Headaches
  • Memory Loss

It’s important to note that loss of consciousness is not required to positively identify a concussion. That’s a myth, folks. The CDC reports that an estimated 1.6 to 3.8 million sports-related concussions occur in the U.S. each year, and 90% don’t involve a loss of consciousness! Each concussion is different, so it’s always best to err on the side of caution. If you have any reason to think there’s been a concussion, treat the situation accordingly until a medical professional tells you otherwise.

How to Recognize the Signs of a Concussion For Parents

Watch as Andrea Benton explains how to spot concussion symptoms.

Watch the Video

What About Concussion Treatment?

The first step in treating concussions is learning to properly identify them. It’s estimated that as many as 50% of concussions go unreported!

  • If you think a young athlete has suffered a head injury or concussion, pull him/her out of the game immediately.
  • Head to a hospital right away for a test.
  • Afterward, plenty of rest is often the best form concussion treatment.
  • Don’t let your young athlete rush back to practice. Make sure that they are 100% symptom free before allowing them to play again.

Approx. 50%
of concussions go unreported!

Make sure they are 100% symptom
free before going back to play.

Important Concussion Prevention Tips

First and foremost, it’s important to have the proper equipment. You wouldn’t show up to a football game without your helmet, would ya? In addition, learning proper technique for skills like tackling and heading is key. If you’re playing football, don’t assume that your helmet is going to prevent you from hurting your head, especially if you use it as a weapon. If you’re playing soccer, it’s best to start practicing headers only when you get to high school. Also keep in mind that once a young athlete has sustained a concussion, he/she is three to six times more likely to have another. So if an athlete has sustained multiple concussions in the past, the safest option might be to stop playing that sport.

Proper:
  • Technique
  • Equipment
Avoid:
  • Unnecessary contact
  • Headers (until HS)

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