It seems like more and more parents today are saying no to football. In other words, mom and dad are telling junior he is not allowed to play on his high school team. Indeed, football is on the wane while other sports are growing in popularity. The main reason? Concussions.
One only has to read the news today to discover that many NFL football players have had serious brain damage caused by pummeling into one another in a hardcore way for many years. If and when football players get concussions, they may “black out.” Losing consciousness is not a good thing for them, or for anybody, including teenage boys who play on their local high school football teams.
Concussions are a serious public health concern. Everyone involved in youth sports today needs to know about the signs and symptoms of a concussion. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has put out handy materials titled “Heads Up: Concussion in Youth Sports.” These materials can help coaches and others prevent, recognize and respond to concussions.
Obviously, wearing helmets can help prevent concussions. Aggressive and illegal moves can lead to concussion. Officials need to make sure players are playing by the rules. Most concussions among young athletes result from contact with other athletes– when they bang heads together, right? This sort of thing happens more often during competitions than practices. Coaches and personnel need to pay close attention to every player’s overall well-being on and off the playing field. If a player has a headache, they could have a concussion. Other symptoms to be on the lookout for include dizziness, trouble concentrating, confusion, and nausea.
Players may not know they are exhibiting symptoms of concussion, especially if they’re young and inexperienced. They might also want to hide any perceived form of “weakness,” so they don’t speak up for fear of letting their teammates and coach down. However, it behooves the parents/coaches in charge to be proactive in finding out whether or not any of the players are, indeed, experiencing concussion. If and when a concussion occurs, the player should not continue playing in the game, risking further brain damage.
Over the years, a football player can take a lot of hits. All those blows to the head add up, to the point where he is physically and mentally all “banged up.” Brain damage is no joke. It’s no wonder, then, that today’s young parents are telling their kids to choose sports which don’t involve blows to the head as a major part of the game.
Should your child be involved in youth sports and you have some concerns about their headaches and/or body pains, please consider making an appointment with Dr. Gerard by calling 651-464-0800.