Concussions & How to Prevent Them

Sara Boddie, Staff Writer

   In the United States, more than 300,000 sports-related concussions are reported, according to The Centers for Disease Control. Concussions occur in almost sports including football, volleyball, soccer, and basketball. They’re caused by a bump or quick jolt to the head, and can last anywhere between a few days or a year, depending on the impact.

Courtesy of Susan Silva

   There are many ways to help reduce the risk of concussions. Make sure you’re wearing the right equipment; checking to make sure you have the correct size and having certified equipment is important. Following the rules is also vital when it comes to staying safe and lessening the chances of collisions.

   According to Brainline, 69% of athletes with a possible concussion played with concussion symptoms. 40% of those athletes said their coach was not aware they had a concussion. It’s extremely important to report a concussion to your parents or coach. A second head injury could easily occur causing long time brain damage, or even death. Playing with a head injury could also cause an injury somewhere else, due to lack of focus or awareness.

  I interviewed our athletic trainer, Paul Rupp, about concussions at Oakton High School. He said that last year there was about 75-78 students with concussions that came to him. One year he had over 120. It took anywhere between 5 days to more than a year to fully recover from the injury depending on the severity of impact. The exercises he has his patients do are the bicycle and eye connection activities, such as following a maze on the wall with your eyes.