Youth Sports Concussions – The Facts and Dangers

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Over the past decade, youth sport concussions have generated a high profile and public interest.  Reports of youth concussions spiked 71 percent between 2010 and 2015, according to a study of nearly 937,000 health insurance claims gathered by Blue Cross and Blue Shield.

Historically, concussions were not considered to be a serious health issue and athletes were told to shrug it off and return to play.  Recognizing such injuries and being proactive are crucial to the safety of young athletes.  It is important that coaches, athletes and parents recognize the symptoms of a concussion and seek treatment.  Early detection can prevent further damage to the brain.

What are signs of a concussion?

Signs of Concussion Immediately after Incident:

  • Appears dazed or stunned.
  • Loses consciousness (even briefly).
  • Can’t recall events prior to or after a hit.
  • Moves clumsily.
  • Answers questions slowly.
  • Shows mood, behavior, or personality changes.

Symptoms of Concussion Reported by Athlete:

  • Headache or “pressure” in head.
  • Nausea or vomiting.
  • Balance problems.
  • Dizziness, double or blurry vision.
  • Bothered by light or noise
  • Feeling sluggish or groggy
  • Confusion, or concentration or memory problems
  • Depression

Sports are an important part of many young lives.  However, the education of identifying, evaluating, and managing a concussion is a vital necessity for a young athlete’s brain and long-term happiness.  No game is more important than the health of the athlete.