Contact sports like football and hockey are often associated with concussions. But it’s not only these athletes who are at risk. According to the CDC, falls are the leading cause of concussions followed by car accidents and being struck by an object.
Since this head injury can be caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head, this puts anyone, not only athletes, in danger. Parents and players should learn important facts about concussions to be prepared.
Those not familiar with concussion symptoms may find it surprising that 90% of patients diagnosed with this head injury do not lose consciousness. Some people don’t realize the more subtle signs until days or even weeks later. To keep players safe, education is key for coaches, parents, and volunteers. Here are some of the concussion symptoms they may notice in players:
● Feeling dazed or confused
● Difficulty remembering recent events
● Easily affected by bright light or loud noises
● Changes in sleep patterns
● Changes in personality
● Grades dropping
● Easily distracted
● Increased anxiety
Your players and parents may have questions about whether it’s safe to sleep following a head injury. This comes from the belief that someone who has suffered a concussion could easily slip into a coma or lose consciousness. While this myth has good intentions, it’s completely false. The first 24-48 hours doctors recommend physical and cognitive rest. Giving the body this brief break allows it to settle and begin the healing process.
Unless players present danger signs like dilated pupils, slurred speech, worsening headaches, confusion, or intense nausea, it’s safe for them to rest uninterrupted.
Long periods of rest in a dark room were once the standard of recovery from concussions. As more research has become available, treatment best practices have changed. CDC guidelines now advise a period of rest followed by a gradual return to activity. Parents and players should follow the advice of healthcare professionals trained to ease patients back into life with safe return to activity protocols.
Thanks to advances in concussion care, parents no longer have to worry about their children being taken out of activity for months. 80% of patients recover in 3 weeks or less with proper care. An increase in research has given doctors a better understanding of concussions and the rehab resources available.
Before your players take the field, educate them about the risks associated with concussions. It’s also important to loop in the coaching staff, volunteers, and parents so they can identify symptoms and know when to seek medical care. You can share this concussion myths infographic with your organization to make sure everyone is on the same page.
Does your organization have a concussion protocol in place? Request information to learn how ImPACT baseline testing can help protect your players before a concussion happens.