Sports injuries: concussionsMonday, April 30, 2012 By Loren Debold
Do you play any sports in high school? Have you ever suffered a concussion? A concussion is a traumatic brain injury that occurs when a hit to the head causes the brain to slam against the skull. Which is why, according to the America Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), 21% of traumatic brain injuries were caused by sports and recreational activities. In 2011 alone, concussions accounted for 15% of the sports related injuries. Concussions in high schools are becoming more and more frequent. This is a big problem for high school students because concussions can damage the memory and attention portions of your brain. Once a student has had a single concussion, their chances of getting a second one are 3-6 times higher than someone who hasn’t gotten one. Not surprisingly, 20% of concussions for male and female soccer and basketball players in high school were repeats. Not only that, but girls are also more likely than guys to get a concussion in sports like soccer according to the Winter 2007-2008 Journal of Athletic Training. Concussions just don't affect students while they are in high school though. They can also affect them as they get older. In January of 2009, there was a study done by the medical Journal called "Brain," which studied 19 former athletes who had experienced a concussion and 21 former athletes who had never had one. The study showed that the former athletes who did endure concussion were slower with their movements and had declined in their memory more than the athletes who didn’t ever have a concussion. That is why concussions are becoming such a big topic lately. Football players are at the most risk of suffering a concussion. An estimated 67,000 football players are diagnosed with a concussion each year in the United States. This can be very problematic for high school students, because concussions can be more severe and can even last longer for people under the age of 19. Symptoms of a concussion include headaches, pressure in your head, nausea/vomiting, balance problems, dizziness, double or blurry vision, sensitivity to light or noise, concentration problems or memory, confusion, etc. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, or if your symptoms have not gone away, then you need to see a doctor and get them treated properly. Concussions are not something to take lightly.