October 19, 2018
Health & Fitness
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Tackling Concussion Head On

Dr. Alan Sokoloff
Dr. Alan Sokoloff's picture
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September 6, 2017

“When In Doubt, Hold Them Out”

Concussion is not new. Sports-related concussions are often associated with immediate and transient symptoms of traumatic brain injury (TBI). Here is a more common definition: A type of mild traumatic brain injury that usually occurs as a result of a bump, blow or jolt to the head. But there is nothing mild about traumatic brain injuries, and each one should be taken seriously, as should a fall or blow to the body that results in the head and brain moving quickly back and forth.

Not all concussions are caused by impact to the head. All concussions are serious, though most people recover quickly and fully. Concussions can occur without loss of consciousness. Concussions can occur in any sport or activity.

Helmets and mouth guards do not prevent concussions, but they do protect your head and teeth.

Coaches May Observe That An Athlete

·         Appears dazed or stunned

·         Is confused about an assignment or position

·         Forgets plays

·         Moves clumsily

·         Answers questions slowly

·         Shows behavior or personality changes

·         Can’t recall an event before or after the hit or fall

Symptoms Your Athlete May Report

·         Headache or head pressure

·         Nausea or vomiting

·         Balance problems and dizziness

·         Double or blurred vision

·         Sensitivity to noise and/or light

·         Confusion, fogginess, sluggishness

Return to Play And Return To School

When in doubt, athletes are held out and cannot return without a “return to play” note. But what steps can parents take?

·         Learn more about concussions. Websites like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention can be helpful.

·         Keep the kids hydrated. Keep the kids hydrated. Keep the kids hydrated!

·         Teach your kids to communicate how they feel.

·         Coaches must teach athletes the rules and safe play techniques.

·         Encourage athletes to play with good sportsmanship.

·         Make sure that protective equipment fits properly.

·         Identify health care professionals in your area who can help you!

Always remember, they are student-athletes. The student comes first. Somewhere along the lines of competition, we lose sight that these young athletes are kids who go to school. We must understand the balance of sports and school.

Dr. Alan K. Sokoloff is with the Yalich Clinic Glen Burnie and offers free workshops for coaches and parents. To make an appointment, call 410-766-4878.

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