WHAT IS A CONCUSSION?
A blow to the head or sudden jerky motion of the neck, as in a “whiplash” type injury (head does not need to hit something or be hit); can disrupt normal function of the brain. This type of brain injury is called a Concussion or Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI). Concussions are not life threatening and in most cases, there are no lasting effects from injury to the brain. Eight out of ten patients with a mild head injury show some sings of the syndrome during the first 3 months after the accident. However, 15% of patients with mild head injury continue to experience symptoms of PCS 1 year after the injury.
SUSTAINING A CONCUSSION
YOU CAN STILL SUSTAIN A CONCUSSION OR mTBI WITHOUT LOSING CONSCIOUSNESS!
The brain is made up of millions of long, thin nerve fibers. Some of these fibers can stretch, snap, or break as a consequence of a head injury. Like any other part of the body, the brain also has blood vessels that can tear and bleed. This happens soon after the injury, it often stops on its own and heal like any cut will. Moreover, due to the microscopic size of these nerve fibers, modern technology has yet to visualize them. Therefore, CT/MRI scans of the brain of a patient with PCS are typically normal. Snapped nerves and broken blood vessels are the cause of symptoms after a head injury
ALARMING STATISTICS ABOUT SPORTS-RELATED CONCUSSIONS
In organized high school sports, concussions occur more often in competitive sports, with football accounting for more than 60% of concussions
High school football accounts for 47% of all reported sports concussions, with 33% of concussions occuring during practice
The Center for Disease Control (CDC)
Reports show the amount of reported concussions has doubled in the last 10 years. The American Academy of Pediatrics has reported that emergency room visits for concussions in kids ages 8 to 13 years old has doubled, and concussions have risen 200 percent among teens ages 14 to 19 in the last decade!
Rates of Sport Concussion
Boy's Ice Hockey
Concussion Educational Resources
Concussion in Sports
This pamphlet from the American College of Sports Medicine provides information on what may cause a concussion as well as the symptoms to look out for.
This resource provides a wealth of information on the impact traumatic brain injuries has on youth and professional athletes, as well as a call to action on how to make contact sports safer for everyone.
About Brain Injury
This guide from the Brain Injury Association of America discusses what functions of the brain are impacted as a result of TBI.
Concussion Toolkit for Parents, Players and Coaches
The Concussion Awareness Training Tool provides a wealth of information on how to provide support to children who have suffered a concussion.
HEADS UP to Youth Sports: Online Training
This online course from the CDC offers student athletes, parents, coaches and educators the opportunity to learn a broad range of TBI topics, including how to prevent and respond to these injuries.
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