Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Some Thoughts on Concussions

       Over the weekend one of my old teammates from high school was in Upper Sandusky to celebrate his 50th year as a graduate from Upper Sandusky High School. Not my 50th, but his. As we talked about the "good old days," the subject of concussions came up. He wondered about all of the publicity surrounding concussions in high school football.
      Back in the day, we were told that we got our "bell rung." We sat out a few plays and then went back into the game. A headache was just part of the game. Of course, I am not saying we were expected to play with headaches, and really no one was at fault. That was just the way it was. I actually remember wearing ling sleeve, heavy material in August practices. Plus, we were told to take salt tablets after practice. If you had to get water, your were a ________. Thank goodness for education. Honesty, that was all that anybody knew and , for the mostpart, no one was to blame.
Back to concussions.
       A concussion is a brain injury that is not only caused by a bump, blow or jolt to the head, but also to the body. Remember, just getting hit really hard to the body can cause a jolt to the brain. A concussion can occur not only in practices or games, in any activity or sport. You do not necessarily have to be knocked out to receive a concussion.
       Most, football players with a concussion get better and return to action. But like all injuries, time to heal is really important. The brain needs time to heal, just as muscles do. My best advice is wait until a doctor releases. In Ohio high school sports, new concussion rules are taking effect this fall.
       Unlike other injuries, concussions, obviously, cannot be seen, but there are symptoms that might suggest that you have a concussion. After an injury, you may not feel right, and this feeling could last for days, or even weeks. I did not research and found this list of symptoms from a National Guard sponsored publication.

           Headache or "pressure" in the head
           Nausea or vomiting
           Balance problems or dizziness
           Double or blurred vision
           Light or slight noise bothers you
          Feeling sluggish, hazy, or groggy
          Difficulty paying attention
          Memory problems

      If you think that you may have a concussion, don't hide it. Tell your coaches or your parents. Make plans to get a medical check-up. Give yourself plenty of time to recover.
There is no such comment as he got "dinged," or got his "bell rung" anymore. And remember - a concussion can occur without a blow to the head. Follow the rules and use common sense in competition.

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