Effects and prevention of concussions


Arianna Faamausili, Reporter

Like a traumatic brain injury, symptoms of a concussion can vary greatly from person to person. Symptoms may include headache, confusion, lack of coordination, memory loss, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, ringing in the ears, sleepiness, and excessive fatigue. The culture of sports can negatively influence athletes’ self-reporting of concussion symptoms and their adherence to return-to-play guidance. Athletes, their teammates, coaches and parents may not fully understand nor appreciate the impact of concussions on the health of the youth athlete. When parents see that their athletic child is not playing, difficulty and frustration between coaches and parents appear.

The Utah State Legislature passed a Head Injuries Act for the protection of athletes in 2011. This law requires amateur sports organizations and schools to adopt and enforce a concussion and head injury policy, and to get written approval of the policy by parents/legal guardians before their child participates in a sport activity. A child who gets a head injury must be removed from play and may only return after written clearance from a qualified healthcare provider. “I hate not seeing my daughter play when she is injured. Sometimes she tries to hide it from me that she’s not hurt,” softball play, Marilyn Maka’s mom speaks, “no parent wants to hear that their child is injured, but it’s always best to be safe than sorry.”

“Getting a concussion truly sucks” Junior, Mele Morey, shares, “concussions affect even the simplest of things you do every day, and since it primarily impacts the brain, it’s kind of hard to do anything.” According to dosomething.org, people who suffer from concussions generally fully recover quickly. However, in some cases, symptoms can last for days or weeks. It also mentions that the most common causes of concussions are sports injuries (football, hockey, rugby, basketball, etc.), bicycle accidents, car accidents, and falls.

Taylorsville High’s athletics trainer, Joshua Juarez LAT, ATC said that throughout this year so far, he’s already gone through about fifteen students who suffered  a concussion. “So far, most concussions have come from soccer and football,” Josh continues. “A lot of people don’t like to admit that they’ve been injured or confess that they have a concussion because they want that playing time. There’s no fun in sitting out and watching your team do all the work.” Playing time can make or break your season, not to mention your athletic career. Every athlete wants playing time, yet only a select few will actually consistently achieve it. Many players who do get it feel like they can never get enough of it. Playing time is like that golden ticket in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. You’re willing to do almost anything to get it and when you do, your world is brightened with wondrous possibility and opportunity.

Josh explains that the best way to treat concussions is to sit it out if you do receive one. If you continue to play while having a concussion then the pain will just spread in the brain and be more frustrating. Although it does suck, it is very much needed to for an athlete’s health.

Experts say that student athletes should play by the rules. Teaching young athletes to respect the rules of their sport is part of good coaching. Wear the appropriate equipment for your sport and wear it properly. Always close a chin strap if your sport requires a helmet; many concussions occur during practice, examine the playing field for uneven areas or holes, and make sure that end posts are padded sufficiently. Practice good sportsmanship is always important. Teaching good sportsmanship is part of good coaching and good parenting minimizing unnecessary aggression on the field. It’s good to have the knowledge of using proper technique for your sport. Some sports organizations have taken additional action to minimize the risk of concussion by limiting the number of contact practices allowed during the season.With all that information, Warriors, please be safe in all athletic sports and remember these things to prevent from getting a concussion. Play on!