What Is The Big Deal About Concussions?
Twenty years ago, concussions were a problem that mainly concerned high level athletes, coaches, and sports teams. In recent years, the spotlight on head injuries have become so large that it’s become a major topic among parents who want their kids to participate in youth sports.
Concussions are a type of brain injury and are serious business. However, that doesn’t mean that we need to wrap our children in bubble wrap and keep them out of all sports. The truth is that the benefits of getting kids active through sports FAR outweigh the potential downside of getting a concussion. Here are some of the facts:
- Kids are more likely to suffer a concussion from a fall, bicycle accident, or car accident than playing sports.
- Kids are more likely to have problems associated with being overweight or obese than suffer a concussion.
- Most people will recover from a concussion in 7-10 days while about 10% of concussions will lead to post-concussion syndrome.
The question isn’t whether we should keep our kids from playing a variety of sports. The question is how do we make sure that our children can have all of the fun and competition from sports while doing everything we can to make sure their brains stay safe.
With summer coming to an end and a new school year approaching, here are some tips to ensure that we protect our kids’ brains:
- Make sure all of their equipment fits and is used properly. That means helmets, shoulder pads, gloves, etc. Many youth concussions can be prevented just from making sure that kids have properly fitting equipment.
- Children 10 and over should be getting baseline concussion testing by a trained physician or certified athletic trainer.
- You can’t go wrong getting strong. A minor bump can cause a major injury when the body is not strong enough to resist a force. Strength training the arms, shoulders, and neck can build muscle that can protect against a head injury. Plus, it will make your child perform better in their sport!
- When in doubt, sit them out. If a child takes a blow to the head and they look dazed or woozy, they should be removed from the sport for precautionary reasons. A child’s brain can be sensitive to multiple impacts when a first concussion has taken place and it’s best to be cautious.
- If a concussion happens, know who your healthcare team is going to be. The neck is a very common area of injury after a concussion. If your child gets a head injury,make sure the neck is examined by a professional like an upper cervical chiropractor.
Being a parent is hard enough. We don’t need to complicate your decision to let your kids play recreational sports. Sports can be a valuable part of a child’s life, we just have to make sure we protect our kid’s health while they play.
Dr. Jonathan Chung is a Doctor of Chiropractic who focuses on Structural Correction and is primarily concerned with Structural Shifts of the spine. He graduated from the University of Central Florida with a B.S. in Microbiology and Molecular Biology. Dr. Chung then went on and received his doctorate from Life University’s College of Chiropractic. Dr. Chung is certified in pediatrics from the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association, and is a Structural Chiropractic Researcher who has been published in scientific peer-reviewed journals. Read more from Dr. Chung at chiropractorwellington.com/blog