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!
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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.
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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.With TeamSnap, everyone knows where to be, when to be there and what to bring. Our 10 million customers love us. Find out why!
Symptoms can vary, but some of the most common ones are:
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.
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.
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.
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