Dr. Robert Cantu says that while there is debate about the importance
of grading concussions, he sees value, especially where an athlete has
suffered multiple concussions and where the grading is done after the
signs and symptoms have cleared.
A concussion Is defined as trauma (e.g. usually but
not always a blow to the head, face or neck) which causes the brain to collide with the
skull. A "concussion" is
derived from the Latin concutere, meaning to shake violently. It is
also often referred to as an MTBI (mild traumatic brain injury).
Dr. Robert Cantu says it is extremely important that parents and athletes recognize the signs and symptoms of a concussion.
Not only do athletes need to self-report symptoms, says Dr. Cantu, but
they should let the coaching and medical staff know if a teammate is experiencing symptoms. It just might save his life.
Regular post-concussion monitoring is essential in the first 24 to 48 hours after injury to check for signs of deteriorating mental status that may indicate a more serious injury, says Dr. Robert Cantu.
The National Athletic Trainers' Association has re-released a set of recommendations for precautions that should be followed by parents, coaches, athletic trainers, other health care professionals and participants in secondary school athletics, in order to prevent the spread of communicable and infectious diseases. Due to the nature of competitive sports at the high school level, there is an elevated risk of infectious diseases being spread by skin-to-skin contact and contaminated equipment shared by athletes.