Effects of Concussions in Youth Sports

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Everyone has heard about the so called “Concussion Epidemic” in the National Football League. The stories are everywhere from SportsCenter to local news stations. Concussions are when a person gets hit on the head or even somewhere else on the body and the brain slams into the skull due to the impact. If concussions are such a big deal in the pros, what does it mean for youth sports in America? Nearly 15 percent of all sports related injuries in high school athletes are concussions(American Headache Society). Concussions are a major health concern for youth sports and everyday more research is being shown about the long term effects of repeated blows to the head.
The very first step to solving the concussion problem is to train coaches how to spot a concussion. The most common symptoms are: headache, sensitivity to light and/or sound, trouble remembering plays, dizziness, nausea, and balance problems. Players suspected of having a concussion must be removed from the game or practice immediately. A concussion is described as a “mild traumatic brain injury” because it is not usually life threatening if treated properly. That name does not indicate the possible consequences if an athlete returns to play too soon.
From the year 2001 to 1005 children aged 5-18 accounted for 2.4 million emergency room visits due to sports related injuries. Of these visits around 6 percent involved a concussion(The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). Every athlete that receives a concussion does not necessarily go to the emergency room. Athletic trainers, when available and certified, can oversee the recovery of an athlete without a trip to the emergency room. Some concussions go untreated altogether. While the percentage may seem low, looki...

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