Concussions, Do You Know The Warning Signs?

Concussion Safety

For many of us, the fall season means three certainties are on the way: leaves changing, school starting, and tossing around the pigskin. Football season is underway, with multiple teams across Long Island preparing themselves for what’s sure to be a competitive season with plenty of action. But while coaches and players are grinding over the playbook, they also need to review safety protocols and procedures. Football is a game that’s violent in nature, with collisions occurring in each meeting between the ball-carrier and tackler. This has led to several injuries cropping up due to the aggressive nature of the sport, such as the now highly publicized concussion issues.

What is a Concussion?

Concussions are a polarizing topic in today’s sports world, with several professional players citing the condition as being a threat to not only their career but their future health as well. The condition is considered a traumatic brain injury that can lead to complications such as memory loss and frequent, agonizing headaches. The primary catalyst for a concussion is typically a striking blow to the head, causing the victim to immediately feel groggy and delirious.

In contact sports such as football and soccer, concussions usually occur as a result of a direct collision between two players. In some cases, the victims may actually lose consciousness, even for just a brief few seconds.

How do I Identify a Concussion?

It’s utterly imperative that all athletes, trainers, and coaches are aware of the warning signs of a concussion. The reason for this being so essential is that some victims may not be aware that they’ve suffered a concussion, even after the injury has already manifested. If you’re trying to determine whether or not yourself or another person has a concussion, be on the lookout for the following symptoms:

  • Severe/painful headaches

  • The victim was briefly knocked unconscious

  • Confused, shocked look

  • Memory loss

  • Dizzy spells

  • Delayed responses to answering simple questions

  • “Ringing” noise in the ears

  • Vomiting

How can Concussions be Prevented?

It’s critical that a potential concussion victim is immediately monitored and examined by a trained professional after the incident occurs. In the event that a concussion has indeed been determined, the individual should immediately be removed from the game or abstain from doing any other strenuous tasks. For athletes, protective equipment is crucial when attempting to prevent a concussion from occurring. Football players specifically should always make sure their helmets are properly fitted and ready for use. You may also seek guidance from a physical therapist, who can suggest exercises that will help you maintain a strong balance in order to prevent slipping and banging your head on a hard surface.

Above all else, educating others on the dangers of concussions is a task that should be undergone by anyone. Especially for athletes who play sports that involve collisions and violence. For further questions or concerns regarding the condition, be sure to consult with a physical therapist for tips and other pertinent information.

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