Concussions: More than a game changer

By Stephen Hudson

If it’s August, then it must be football season in the Palmetto State. As players take to the gridiron with football practice and games this fall, it remains important to take precaution when it comes to reducing the risk of concussions.

A common injury in athletes, a concussion is a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) with serious, sometimes lethal, repercussions.  A study recently released by the Colorado School of Public Health and the University of Colorado at Denver found that five to six concussions occur among high school football players per 10,000 games or practices each year.

And it’s not just football players. Many of our young athletes in other sports are also susceptible to head traumas. For instance, soccer players can get concussions when hitting the ball with their head. In addition, research shows that female athletes often suffer from sports-related concussions more often than males, and recover slower.

Concussions need to be taken seriously, both on and off the field. Here in South Carolina TBI leads to 11,500 emergency room visits each year, mostly due to falls and motor vehicle accidents. Teachers, coaches, parents and athletes should all know the warning signs of a concussion. Some key signs to be aware of include difficulty remembering, headaches, sensitivity to light and irritability.

If you suspect someone is suffering from a TBI, please get them medical attention quickly.

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