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Sports-Related Concussions & Subconcussive Injuries

Tebow Concussion, NFL Dementia Study Are Teachable Moments

Concussion continue to be in the news.  Which is a good thing, because the media coverage provide teachable moments.  But what lessons should parents of youth and high school athletes take away from concussions suffered by comic Conan O'Brien, Florida quarterback Tim Tebow, and the NFL's reaction to its own study showing an alarmingly high incidence of early dementia in former players?  The answers may surprise you.

Concussions in the News

Concussions have been in the news a lot lately.

First was the concussion suffered by "Tonight" star, Conan O'Brien, when he slipped and hit the back of his head during a fake triathlon with "Desperate Housewives" star, Teri Hatcher.

According to news reports, O'Brien "saw stars," couldn't stand and had slurred speech. After trying to continue the taping, O'Brien ended up going to the hospital.

Not Wearing Helmet Increases Head Injury Risk for Snowboarders, Skiers

Did you know that traumatic brain injury accounts for 50% to 88% of skiing and snowboarding fatalities and that the risk of head injury and of loss of consciousness increases for skiers and snowboarders not wearing a helmet when they fall.  Your child or teen may not think wearing a helmet is cool, but it could save their life.

Head Impacts Greater Among High School Football Players

A new NATA study shows that high school football players sustain greater head accelerations after impact during play than do college-level football players - forces which can lead to concussions and serious cervical spine injuries.  Teaching proper tackling technique to avoid helmet-to-helmet contact is critical, says the study's authors.

Detailed Concussion History Important in Treatment and Prevention

Concussion experts agree that the taking of a detailed concussion history is important for the treatment of concussion after injury and to identify at-risk athletes during a pre-participation physical evaluation or examination (PPE).

Concussion Follow-Up

After the initial sideline assessment, an athlete with a suspected concussion should not be left alone, should be monitored for deteriorating mental status over the next few hours, and should be further evaluated in a hospital emergency room or doctor's office.

Concussion Signs Requiring Immediate Hospitalization

In first 24 to 48 hours after suspected concussion, an athlete should be monitored by a parent or other responsible adult  for signs that require immediate hospitalization.

Concussion Return to Play Guidelines: Longer Recovery Time Needed, Says Doctor

If it was up to Dr. Lester Mayers, young athletes who suffer sports concussions would be not be allowed to return to play (RTP) for 4 to 6 weeks after injury, a significant departure from current concussion guidelines which allow RTP 1 to 2 weeks after an athlete's concussion signs and symptoms clear, both at rest and during exercise.

Effects of Concussion May Last for Years, Studies Find

That a sports concussions have an adverse short-term effect on cognitive functioning has long been known.  But two recent studies add to a growing body of evidence that the effects of concussions may last for many months and in some cases years.

Soccer Headgear: Look for Headgear Meeting ASTM Standard

Soccer headgear may reduce injury risk from collision of head with hard surface (another head, ground, goalpost) but not from repeated heading of soccer ball.
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