Sports Concussions


Posted by Annie Pixley

December 28, 2010

From the playing field to the classroom

Smiling Little LeaguerThere has been so much in the news lately about sports concussions that we really feel a responsibility to our readers to provide as much information as possible.  Simply put, a concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury that temporarily disrupts the normal functioning of the brain. A direct blow to the head, face, neck, or an indirect blow elsewhere that causes an impulsive force to the head can produce a concussion.

Here are some of the initial warning signs:

  • Dazed and confused
  • Forgetting plays
  • Losing balance/moving awkwardly
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Cannot recall events prior to being hit/jolted

Additional warning signs can include dizziness, headaches, grogginess, nausea, and difficulty concentrating.  Whether you are a parent, teacher, athletic director or coach, you should be aware of these signs and not dismiss their impact on the safety of your players.  It is important to educate the entire team on what to be watching for should a teammate display any of these signs after being hit.

We are excited to have recently introduced The Sports Concussion Tool Kit, providing athletic trainers and coaches with a comprehensive concussion program. It is specifically designed for middle and high schools as well as community recreation programs. Because concussions can have physical, cognitive and emotional consequences that extend beyond the playing field, the Sports Concussion Tool Kit is a full educational package.  It’s chock full of important life-saving information.

To learn more about this tool kit and other products related to sports concussion, go to

3 responses to “Sports Concussions”

  1. Phil Hossler, ATC- NATA Hall of Fame says:

    Keeping in mind that youth do not tolerate concussive trauma as well as adults, loss of consciousness (LOC) is never a reliable gauge. Most concussions regardless of the person’s age do not result in LOC. Parents should monitor their child for several days looking for behavioral, social, emotional as well as physical changes. Any change should warrant a phyisican vist. Within the “The Sports Concussion Tool Kit” by Lash & Associates Publishing, there are several “scorecards” or “checklists” for coaches and parents to use to keep a daily record of signs and symptoms.

    Parents get involved; ask questions; don’t look for “major” changes only. Any subtle but persistent change should be recorded and reported. Be certain to speak to your child’s school nurse as well. The school should be set up to make accommodations in the child’s school day and workload.

  2. Ron Savage says:

    Concussions in young children playing soccer can occur when they are playing with an adult-sized soccer ball, rather than a youth-sized ball. Very young children usually do not crash into each other with enough force to seriously hurt themselves. However, a child can fall hard to the ground, strike another child head-to-head, or get hit in the head by a knee. If a child strikes his/her head, take the child out of the game. Better safe than sorry.

    In baseball, young children are most often hurt when another child is practicing swinging the bat and the other child gets hit in the head. Again, remove the child from the game.

    Lastly, if a child gets a blow to the head, they need to be checked out by a physician. Afterwards it is important to monitor the child over the next several days to make sure the child is symptom free. The Concussions in Children Tip Card at Lash Publishing has a checklist that parents can use to monitor their child after a blow to the head. If symptoms persist (e.g., headache, irritability, confusion,problems sleeping, etc.) the child needs to see a concussion specialist.

  3. Mandi Melton says:

    I have a question: my son and nephew are between ages 3-5 and both are starting sports this year, be it baseball or soccer and I’m wondering, because from other information I know, that brain injuries can take awhile to show up in children, if they God forbid got hurt on the field and were taken hopefully to a doctor…or not… and no signs showed any type of concussion or brain injury at that time how long would you wait to really know if that sports accident at such a young age did have long term effects on them?

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