This post was written by Kim Mattison, Registered Nurse at the Beloit Area Community Health Center.
With football and soccer season in full swing, injury prevention is a must. A concussion is any incidence that would cause the brain to move rapidly in a back and forth motion after hitting a hard surface. Most people associate concussions with football players, however, it can happen with any activity at any age.
The following examples are an overview of a few activities that can cause a traumatic brain injury:
- Falling off a bicycle while not wearing a helmet
- Football tackles, while wearing a helmet
- Playground accidents including falling off equipment
- All-terrain & motor vehicle accidents
- Skateboard falls
- Horseback riding falls
- Cheerleading falls
You can’t see a concussion like you would an outward appearing injury. It is especially important to pay attention to young children that do not have fully developed brains. When in doubt, seek medical attention. It is always important to leave the diagnosis of a concussion up to your medical professional. Proper treatment is important to a full recovery.
How to recognize concussion signs & symptoms
Signs and Symptoms may appear immediately after the fall or injury; however, it is possible that they may not show up until much later.
A few Signs and Symptoms that may be observed by others when a concussion is suspected:
- Feeling Sluggish
- Vision Changes
- Forgetfulness especially what was happening just prior to the injury
How to prevent concussions
Be proactive instead of reactive. There are no certain ways to stop concussions, however, there are things that might be able to help prevent them:
- Education on risks related to the activity
- Use appropriately sized safety equipment
- Learn neck and shoulder strengthening exercises
- Overall fitness and training helps to reduce the incidence of a person being injured
If you think you have an injury get out of the game. “When in doubt, sit it out!”