Concussion in youth sports is perhaps the most unfortunate truth. Even more disturbing is the fact that concussions have become more frequent than ever.
If you are a concerned parent, here’s some basic information you would find useful, some common misconceptions dispelled and facts stated, basically essential information you need to take care of such an injury before you get to the doctor.
MYTH – A concussion only occurs if the head is hit.
REALITY – Concussions are most common with head injuries but a concussion may also occur if there’s an impact on the face, neck, or any other part of the body from where the impact is then passed on to the head.
MYTH – Concussion will only occur if the impact of the blow or fall is severe
REALITY – Different parts of the brain get affected with different magnitude of the force. Sometimes even a mild injury on the head may cause concussion. There is no certain way to determine which injury will cause a concussion and which won’t.
MYTH – When a concussion occurs, the athlete will loose consciousness. If there’s no LOC (loss of consciousness), it is not a concussion.
REALITY – Studies suggest that in most cases of concussions, there is actually no LOC. Although many coaches and parents have now become aware of the fact that the athlete may not necessarily be knocked out to be concussed, the fact still needs to become a common reality. and on the other hand, if there is LOC, it does not necessarily suggest that the concussion is very severe. In many cases, athletes who lost consciousness after an injury actually healed faster than those who didn’t. and many a times the symptoms of concussion might not occur until several hours, days or weeks after the injury.
MYTH – The right protective gear can prevent concussions
REALITY – There can be safer protective gear that can help prevent skull fracture or sudden death due to collision in some cases, but there really is no such helmet or mouth gear that can prevent concussions. With lot of research companies have invented material that can be deemed safer, but the reality is that concussions do occur.
MYTH – Boys in more aggressive games like football, rugby etc. mostly suffer concussions
REALITY – This is a very common misconception. In-fact the reality is quiet the opposite, research suggests that girls in games such as basket ball, volley ball etc. are more prone to concussions than boys. Surprisingly, concussions have also been reported to have occurred while cheerleading.