There is a lot of talk about sports concussions these days, as the toll that they take on people’s health continues to grow. This topic is especially important for schools and sports organizations, as they are responsible for the safety and well-being of their students and athletes. To help keep your students and athletes safe, we suggest the following guidelines for school and sports organizations: 1. Educate your staff on the dangers of sports concussions and how to identify them. 2. Implement concussion protocols for all players and coaches who may be at risk. 3. Report any suspected concussions immediately to your healthcare professionals.
What is a sports concussion?
A sports concussion is a traumatic brain injury that can be caused by one or more hits to the head. Symptoms may include:
– Memory problems
Symptoms of a sports concussion
When a person suffers a sports concussion, it can cause dizziness, nausea, vomiting, headaches, and blurred vision. In some cases, people may also experience seizures or blackouts. If left untreated, a sports concussion can lead to long-term health problems such as memory loss and dementia. Here are some guidelines that schools and sports organizations can use to help avoid sports concussions in their students and athletes:
1) Warn players about the symptoms of a concussion and let them know how to seek medical help if they experience any of them.
2) Limit physical activity during recovery from a concussion. Students should stay off school grounds for at least two days after getting treatment for a concussion. Athletes should take 10 days off from all physical activity following an injury until they’ve had complete neurological clearance from their doctor.
3) Teach students how to properly return to play following a concussion.Returning too soon could lead to another injury or exacerbate the symptoms of the initial concussion. Athletes should wait at least four weeks before returning to full activity.
4) Make sure coaches and trainers know how to identify and treat concussions in athletes. Coaches should be trained on the proper protocol for evaluating an athlete for signs of concussion and providing care if one is detected. Trainers should also be aware of the warning signs and symptoms of head injuries in athletes so they can provide appropriate care.
5) Educate parents about the dangers of sports concussions and encourage them to talk to their children about the importance of taking proper safety precautions.
6) Create a culture of concussion awareness in schools and sports organizations. Educate players, coaches, trainers, and others on how to recognize and manage concussions. Make sure all students and athletes know about the warning signs and symptoms of a concussion, and know where to go for help if they experience them.
How to diagnose a sports concussion
When it comes to diagnosing a sports concussion, there are some guidelines that should be followed. The American Academy of Neurology (AAN) has put out a document called “Checks and Balances: Concussion in Sport” which offers the following suggestion:
- A history and physical examination should always be performed on all athletes who present with any type of head injury.
- Any athlete who exhibits any of the following should be considered to have a concussion and should not participate in sport until cleared by a healthcare professional: Dizziness, confusion, headache, nausea/vomiting, or seizures.
- There is no single test that can reliably diagnose a concussion; however, several tests may help rule out other possible causes for symptoms such as sporting accidents or meningitis. These include an MRI scan to look for bleeding within the brain, CT scans to detect signs of swelling in the brain, and balance tests.
- It is important to follow up with athletes who present with concussion symptoms after returning from sport to monitor for worsening neurological status over time (e.g., changes in level of consciousness, impairment in activities of daily living).
How to treat a sports concussion
Since sports concussions are on the rise, it’s important for schools and sports organizations to be aware of the symptoms and how to treat them with the help of Concussion Training by completeconcussions.com. Concussion symptoms can vary from person to person, so it’s important to know what to look for.
Most commonly reported symptoms of a sports concussion include:
- lightheadedness or dizziness
- nausea or vomiting
- sensitivity to light and sound
- problems with coordination or balance
Benefits of the sports concussion protocol
The sports concussion protocol is a guideline for schools and sports organizations that want to ensure that athletes are diagnosed with a concussion and treated properly. The benefits of following the protocol include:
-A decrease in the number of athletes who suffer from concussions
-A decrease in the number of athletes who require surgery due to concussions
-A decrease in the number of athletes who have long-term effects from concussions
Sports concussions are a growing problem that schools and sports organizations are struggling to deal with, but there are ways to mitigate the effects. We have put together a list of suggested guidelines for schools and sports organizations in order to help them learn how to identify concussion symptoms and address them appropriately. Hopefully, following these guidelines will help reduce the number of concussions in sport and make athletes safer overall.