The brain is a complex and vulnerable organ. As you can see, there is nothing mild about an injury to the brain. But by becoming more knowledgeable about mild brain injury, you can become an informed consumer of health services, effective health care provider, supportive family member, caring friend or colleague. It can happen to anyone.
There are serious risks and consequences of concussion among children and adolescents as their brains are still developing and are vulnerable to trauma. A concussion is a mild brain injury. Sports carry the risk of concussion for all players so it is important for everyone to be aware of the signs and symptoms of concussion as well as patterns of recovery.
As sport becomes more of a ﬁxture in the lives of Americans, the burden of responsibility falls on the shoulders of the various organizations, coaches, parents, clinicians, ofﬁcials, and researchers to provide an environment that minimizes the risk of injury.
After a severe concussion playing in her high school soccer game, Madeline Uretsky found herself still suffering from symptoms two years later. It affected every aspect of her life – her studies, friendships, family, and hopes for her future. She has learned to live with this “new normal” but often cannot do things that normal teenagers do, like going to the mall, movies, concerts, sporting events, stores, restaurants, or crowded places. Her experience has led her to educating students and athletes about concussion and advocacy for greater awareness.
Sports and concussion carry special risks for children and adolescents because their brains are still developing. Athletic trainer Phil Hossler shares data on sports concussions in school age children and discusses why it is critical for athletes, coaches, parents, educators and school nurses to become informed. The impact of a concussion can extend far beyond the playing field to the classroom and home. Only by early diagnosis and careful management can athletes and students receive the rest, supports and accommodations that may be needed.
Sports are a major cause of head injuries among children, especially among boys. Football, soccer, playground falls – the numbers are staggering. A brain injury is an injury to the brain that generally results from an external trauma, such as a blow to the head, but it may also occur without any physical contact to the head, as in a sudden acceleration/deceleration injury caused by a car crash. A person does not need to be knocked out to sustain a head injury. However, there may still be injury to the brain, which can cause deficits in a person’s functioning. Play is important for children but keeping them safe while they play is critical. Whether you are a parent, educator, coach or relative, know the signs of concussion and know who to protect your children by prevention and safe play.
That last day of school in June felt liberating. I had the whole summer to recover and possibly a chance to go back to school full time in the fall. However, what I did not realize was that the stress was just beginning. Except for being tutored in two subjects a few days a week at school, I had not done any work at all from October-June. I had basically missed my entire sophomore year (I finished English, though) and I had to make it up somehow in one summer.
Michael Pines founded the Law Offices of Michael Pines, APC, in San Diego in 1992. Having worked with brain injury victims for over 20 years, Mike sees first-hand how incredibly devastating brain injury can be for individuals and families. He is an accident and injury prevention expert in San Diego, and on a campaign to end senseless injury one blog at a time.
My name is Madeline Uretsky, and I am a 16 year old high school student/athlete; I play soccer, ice hockey, and track, am an active member in my school/class, an honor roll student, and a very positive person. In a matter of seconds, all of this changed for me. You never think it’s going to happen to you.
A concussion can have many effects on a child or youth’s performance in the classroom, ability to play sports, participation in activities with friends, and behavior at home. Everyone who is involved with a student athlete is responsible for being aware of the signs and symptoms of concussion, monitoring the child’s recovery, and providing supports and accommodations. This includes the physician, parents, friends, teachers, school nurses, coaches and athletic trainers.