With so many young athletes taking part in contact sports across the USA, and getting injured, it is critical that our athletic trainers, doctors, and trauma centers are equipped with the right know how and tools to treat those who suffer a traumatic brain injury. Closer to home, as players and parents, we need to know how to treat the symptoms that we recognize, even if that simply means knowing enough to realize that stopping play and visiting the doctor is required.
What Should I do if I think I have a Concussion?
Don’t hide it. Tell your athletic trainer and/or coach. Never ignore a blow to the head. Also, tell your athletic trainer and/or coach if one of your teammates might have a concussion. Sports have injury timeouts and player substitutions so that you can get checked out.
Report it. Do not return to participation in a game, practice or other activity with symptoms. The sooner you get checked out, the sooner you may be able to return to play.
Get checked out. Your team physician, athletic trainer, or health care professional can tell you if you have had a concussion and when you are cleared to return to play. A concussion can affect your ability to perform everyday activities, your reaction time, balance, sleep, and classroom performance.
Take time to recover. If you have had a concussion, your brain needs time to heal. While your brain is still healing, you are much more likely to have a repeat concussion. In rare cases, repeat concussions can cause permanent brain damage, and even death. Severe brain injury can change your whole life.