Dr. Barbara Huggins

Football & Concussions

August 16, 2007

Football & Concussions -  August 16, 2007Football practice is in full swing all over the country. But sometimes, the goal of winning can put these young athletes at risk. Dr. Mom reports on why coaches and parents need to understand the serious problem of concussions.

Friday Night Lights is just around the corner with marching bands, cheering fans, and the big ‘play of the night.’ With coming events of daily football practice and Friday night games, parents and coaches need to be aware of the symptoms of concussions. Approximately 40,000 high school football players nationwide suffer concussions, which are considered mild traumatic brain injuries (MTBI). Football is not the only culprit of concussions. Brain trauma can occur is any contact sport, plus biking, skateboarding, skiing, roller skating/blading. Altogether about 300,000 traumatic brain injuries occur each year in sports and recreation in the United States.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has developed the "Heads Up: Concussion in High School Sports" that gives concussion information to coaches and parents. This tool kit is available at no cost.

What is Concussion?
When a person receives a bump, blow, or jolt to the head, the brain can bang or bump into the skull, causing the brain to bruise or blood vessels to tear. Jarring and bruising of the brain causes the brain to not function normally.

What are symptoms of concussion?
Symptoms may be very subtle or show up right away, others can show up days or weeks after the injury.

Hey, Coach, when can I get back in the game?
Getting back into the game before your brain has had time to heal can result in a condition called "second impact syndrome." Second impact syndrome is when a player receives another head injury days or weeks following the first concussion. This second impact is more likely to cause swelling of the brain and can be fatal. Studies have shown that after athletes sustain one concussion, they are 3 times more likely to sustain a second concussion compared to other players.

Preventing Concussion

With all contact sports, injuries can occur:
Other helpful websites:

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