Without a doubt, concussions have been given a significant amount of attention in recent years due to their prevalence in the NFL. Because of the increased attention to sports injuries, particularly on concussions, there has been a significant amount of research done on the causes, effects, and prevention of these traumatic head injuries. When parents and children are thinking about the sports that they are going to play and how they are going to keep themselves safe, there are a few important pieces of information that they should keep in mind.
What is a Concussion?
Among child injuries, concussions are among the most worrisome. For those who don’t know, a concussion is a traumatic brain injury that has a significant impact on brain function. While most are temporary with acute impacts rarely lasting more than a few seconds, they can vary markedly in their severity. Some people may not even notice a minor concussion; however, they may have a headache a few minutes after the event. Some severe concussions have the potential to cause a loss of consciousness. While other brain and spinal cord injuries may be more severe, student safety should prioritize concussions because of their potential to impact student performance both in the short and long-term.
How is a Concussion Diagnosed?
The diagnosis of concussions has been a major point of emphasis because of their prevalence in youth sports. A concussion is different than a bone fracture because they can be challenging to definitively diagnose. Most concussions do not show any abnormalities on imaging scans and, therefore, must rely on clinical signs and symptoms instead. While some people may lose consciousness, other symptoms may be subtler and hard to pick up. Some people may have emotional swings or have difficulty completing tasks that are usually routine. Other people could have trouble falling asleep while others may have issues waking up in the morning. Almost everyone has a severe headache after suffering a concussion.
Challenges with the “Take-it-Easy” Approach with Sports Injuries
When someone has suffered a concussion, the mainstay of treatment is to rest the brain and give it time to recover from one of the more serious sports injuries. While some students will try to push through other injuries, such as ankle sprains or sore muscles, this approach should not be taken with severe child injuries, such as concussions. Student safety must be placed first. Those who have suffered a concussion need to rest in bed or on the couch without any mental stimulation until their symptoms have resolved; however, students are busy today and have trouble taking breaks from homework, social activities, and extracurricular commitments.
The Long-Term Impacts of Repeated Concussions
While the long-term impacts of other brain and spinal cord injuries have been explored extensively, research is still being done on what the long-term impact of repeated concussions might be. Recently, CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy) has received a significant amount of attention from health professionals everywhere because of its prevalence in the NFL. People do not have to look very hard to figure out what kind of impacts these injuries have on former professional football players. Many people suffer from early-onset dementia and serious emotional swings. Other people struggle with depression. As more research is done regarding the chronic impacts of concussion, parents and athletes everywhere need to pay attention.
Sports with Concussion Risks are Everywhere
While almost everyone understands that football places its athletes at risk of suffering brain and spinal cord injuries, including concussions and other sports injuries, there are many other sports that young athletes at risk of suffering concussions and other child injuries. For example, soccer, while considered a non-contact sport, has the potential to cause a number of head injuries. Basketball players who dive on the court for a loose ball may also collide with the floor or other athletes, leading to a concussion. Lacrosse is a contact sport (for male athletes) as well, meaning that the risk of suffering a concussion is very real.
Prevention of Concussions is Paramount
When it comes to sports injuries, concussions receive a significant amount of attention. While diagnosis and treatment is a focus, prevention provides the best opportunity for a favorable outcome. The first step in prevention is to make sure that everyone is properly educated. This means that parents and children everywhere need to focus on student safety and make sure that everyone understands how to spot a concussion when to seek medical treatment, and that mental rest is important for ensuring a successful recovery. Finally, make sure that those who are playing these sports have the proper safety equipment available every time they set foot on the playing field. This will reduce the prevalence of concussions.
An Experienced Professional can Provide Valuable Assistance
Anyone whose child has suffered a concussion should make sure to seek proper medical attention for this and any other brain injury. After this, speaking with an experienced attorney can shed some light on the ancillary impacts of these serious injuries while discussing all options available to them. Anyone whose child has developed a concussion should reach out to the compassionate professionals with GOM Law, who are always available to provide assistance. The practice is located conveniently in McAllen, TX. It can be a challenge to wade through the legal system, particularly during the hectic holiday season. Rely on the caring assistance of a GOM Law professional who always places the needs of their clients ahead of their own.