Increasing Awareness About Youth Concussions

There has been much written recently about concussions in youth sports.  By raising awareness of the symptoms of a concussion and by establishing guidelines for a player to return to the field prolonged injury can be minimized.

Experts will tell you that once a player experiences a concussion the probability of a second one is substantially higher.  This may be a function of not allowing sufficient time for the previous concussion to heal.  Conversely, if the symptoms of a concussion linger longer than what would be considered normal the chances are the player has experience a prior concussion and just didn’t know about it.

Last year my youngest son experienced a grade 2 concussion as the result of  a violent collision in a baseball game.  He was absolutely out of it and had all of the classic symptoms.   Most pronounced was his reciting the same series of questions over an over again.

What happened?

You ran into Jack

Is Jack okay?

Jack is okay.

5 second pause

What happened?…and so on.  This went on for a good hour after the collision.

I took him to the emergency room to remove any doubt of cranial bleeding and have him checked out by a physician.  Everything checked out okay and I was given instructions for his observation.

My next door neighbor is a neurosurgeon.  When we got home I spoke to him about the recovery period.  For a grade 2 concussion the rule of thumb is to be symptom free for a week before returning to the field.  It typically takes at least a week to become symptom free so that is two weeks from the accident.  As a neurosurgeon, his rule of thumb is to double that period.  So, that’s what we did.  On the shelf for a month.  A small price to pay to allow sufficient healing to take place.

Concussions are nothing to mess with.  Coaches will always push a player to return to the lineup if they are a difference maker.  Don’t listen to them.  It isn’t worth the downstream risk.  The new heightened focus in this area is better for all.

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About Mike

Mike has been an executive in the biotechnology industry for the past 20 years. Mike is a graduate of University of California, Santa Barbara, earning Bachelors degrees in Business Economics and Geography. Mike also earned his MBA in Finance from California State University, Fresno. Mike is married to the mother of his 3 children and currently lives outside of Boulder, CO. In his spare time Mike enjoys hiking, fishing, skiing, reading and coaching basketball.
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