Kids' Sports Injuries: Concussion Consequence - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Kids' Sports Injuries: Concussion Consequence

Posted: Updated:

ST. LOUIS, Mo. (Ivanhoe Newswire) - Fall sports are back in full swing, but it's not all fun and games. This year, three and a half million kids playing football and other sports will be treated for a sports injury. Many will suffer their first or a repeat concussion. We'll tell you what parents need to know to keep their kids safe after brain injuries.

They happen all the time and at all levels. But it hit Mason Smith by complete surprise.

"I remember playing but I woke up in the hospital," said Smith.

The 14 year old tri-athlete got his first concussion during a pick-up game of basketball.

"He kept asking the same questions over and over again and it really alarmed me as a parent because he never had a concussion and I would've never have known that that was one of the things that happens," said Mason's mom, Jennifer Smith.

A recent survey shows many parents don't recognize the red flags. Only eight percent know the risks of repeated brain injuries.

"That actually can be a catastrophic problem if someone actually reinjures their brain before it's fully healed," said Mark Halstead, MD, and Director of the Sports Concussion Clinic Washington University School Of Medicine in St Louis.

So what are the consequences of getting back in the game too soon? Worsened symptoms, longer recovery or death. Young athletes are at higher risk of second impact syndrome

"While they're still recovering from their first can develop massive swelling in their brain and they can die," explained Dr. Halstead.

Next can your diet help speed up recovery? Studies show Omega 3's can help decrease nerve cell damage and "creatine" found in meat may also help.

Can mouthguards and high-tech helmets prevent a concussion? While they provide protection some believe they're more of Hail Mary.

Before hitting the field, football players should do a helmet check for loose attachments, broken welds and cracks in the temporal area.

While knowing what to look for is key, Dr. Halstead said when in doubt, sit them out.

"It's better to miss one game than miss the season," he added.

While the traditional rule has been to wake up a concussed athlete every three to four hours during the night, Doctor Halstead said the best thing for the brain after a concussion is rest. Mason slept 44 out the 48 hours following his concussion.

RESEARCH SUMMARY

CONCUSSION SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS: It is important for parents and coaches to be able to recognize when a student or child has had a concussion so that they receive the appropriate medical attention and are not put at risk for another concussion. The most common signs of a concussion are as follows and can be used to estimate the severity of the concussion.

  1. Loss of consciousness (it is possible to have a concussion without having lost consciousness).
  2. Post traumatic memory loss (how long this continues after the injury is also important)
  3. Headache, dizziness, confusion, and a lack of concentration (Source: www.aans.org)

SPORTS STATISTICS: Although football is responsible for its fair share of concussions, many people overlook the danger of receiving a concussion in other contact (and non-contact) sports. A McGill University study found that more than 60% of college level soccer players reported symptoms of a concussion in only a single season. Severe head trauma also accounts for 15% of all skiing and snowboarding injuries and some people continue to refuse to wear a helmet. Cheerleading, boxing, rugby, horse riding, and cycling are other sports where the participants are at risk of a head injury. Football continues to be in the top two for head injuries with 46,948 players having to go to the emergency room in 2009. The number one sport with the most head injuries: cycling. With a staggering 85,389 people having to go to the emergency room for a head injury, it beats football by a significant margin. (Source: www.aans.org)

HOW TO HELP: If someone has a concussion, these suggestions will help with a quick recovery: 

  • Avoid activities such as contact or recreational sports.
  • Avoid sustained computer and video game use at the early stages of the recovery process.
  • Return to your normal activities gradually rather than all at once. (Source: www.cdc.gov)

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:

Judy Martin
Director of Media Relations
Washington University School of Medicine
(314) 286-0105
martinju@wustl.edu

  • Medical News HeadlinesMedical News HeadlinesMore>>

  • Hope For Lanie: Curing SMA

    Hope For Lanie: Curing SMA

    Thursday, April 17 2014 5:15 PM EDT2014-04-17 21:15:09 GMT
    SMA attacks the body's motor neurons and causes paralysis. There is no cure, but for the first time doctors are studying an experimental therapy that targets more than just symptoms.more>>
    SMA attacks the body's motor neurons and causes paralysis. There is no cure for SMA but for the first time doctors are studying an experimental therapy that targets more than just symptoms, it targets mutated SMN genes, which are responsible for SMA.more>>
  • Washing Lungs & Breathing Better

    Washing Lungs & Breathing Better

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 5:15 PM EDT2014-04-16 21:15:09 GMT
    Imagine not being able to breathe without struggling: every breath you take is work; every breath you take could be your last. That was the case for one man who became dependent on an oxygen tank to stay alive.more>>
    Imagine not being able to breathe without struggling: every breath you take is work; every breath you take could be your last. That was the case for one man who became dependent on an oxygen tank to stay alive.more>>
  • Ocular Melanoma: Saving Lives, Saving Eyes

    Ocular Melanoma: Saving Lives, Saving Eyes

    Friday, April 11 2014 5:15 PM EDT2014-04-11 21:15:07 GMT
    Ocular melanoma, also called uveal melanoma, is a rare type of melanoma that targets the eye. It can be a deadly if it isn't spotted early enough. Now, there's a way to treat patients that's saving lives and saving eyes.more>>
    Ocular melanoma, also called uveal melanoma, is a type of melanoma that targets the eye. It affects about 2,000 people a year in the United States. Although rare – it can be a deadly if it isn't spotted early enough. Now, there's a way to treat patients that's saving lives and saving eyes.more>>
  • Memory Palace: Coping With Chemo Brain

    Memory Palace: Coping With Chemo Brain

    Thursday, April 10 2014 5:15 PM EDT2014-04-10 21:15:09 GMT
    More than 13 million Americans are living with some form of cancer. Harsh treatments like chemo and radiation save lives, but they will also change lives. Now, many cancer survivors are learning how to cope with chemo brain.more>>
    More than 13 million Americans are living with some form of cancer. Harsh treatments like chemo and radiation save lives, but they will also change lives. Now, many cancer survivors are learning how to cope with chemo brain.more>>
  • Pedaling For A Cure

    Pedaling For A Cure

    Wednesday, April 9 2014 5:15 PM EDT2014-04-09 21:15:09 GMT
    Five years ago, Leslie Trudeau's world came crashing down. At just 22 years old, her son Taylor lost his battle with leukemia. That's why Trudeau is pedaling for a cure.more>>
    Five years ago, Leslie Trudeau's world came crashing down. At just 22 years old, her son Taylor lost his battle with leukemia. That's why Trudeau is pedaling for a cure.more>>
  • Bringing Hearts Back To Life: New Improved Defibrillator

    Bringing Hearts Back To Life: New Improved Defibrillator

    Tuesday, April 8 2014 5:15 PM EDT2014-04-08 21:15:13 GMT
    CPR and a portable defibrillator helped keep Eric Robinson alive after he went into cardiac arrest. And now a newly FDA approved Biotronik implantable cardiac defibrillator, or ICD, constantly monitors his heart.more>>
    A year ago, while jamming with his son's band, Eric Robinson went into cardiac arrest. CPR and a portable defibrillator helped keep Robinson alive. And now a newly FDA approved Biotronik implantable cardiac defibrillator, or ICD, constantly monitors his heart.more>>
  • Helping High Risk Hearts

    Helping High Risk Hearts

    Monday, April 7 2014 5:15 PM EDT2014-04-07 21:15:09 GMT
    Ironing is not exactly Barbara Roy's favorite activity, but it's something she's glad she can do again. Her doctor diagnosed her with severe aortic stenosis.more>>
    Ironing is not exactly Barbara Roy's favorite activity, but it's something she's glad she can do again. Her doctor diagnosed her with severe aortic stenosis.more>>
  • Hernias In Newborns: Lincoln's Story

    Hernias In Newborns: Lincoln's Story

    Friday, April 4 2014 5:15 PM EDT2014-04-04 21:15:07 GMT
    Congenital diaphragmatic hernias occur in about one in every 2,000 births. They can be deadly, but now doctors are using a more aggressive treatment approach.more>>
    Congenital diaphragmatic hernias occur in about one in every 2,000 births. They can be deadly, but now doctors are using a more aggressive treatment approach.more>>
  • Predicting Bad Hearts

    Predicting Bad Hearts

    Thursday, April 3 2014 5:15 PM EDT2014-04-03 21:15:09 GMT
    Every year, more than 700,000 Americans have a heart attack. Now, researchers at Baylor Research Institute at Dallas have uncovered a biomarker that may help them spot the disease sooner.more>>
    Every year, more than 700,000 Americans have a heart attack. And 600,000 die of heart disease. Now, researchers at Baylor Research Institute at Dallas have uncovered a biomarker that may help them spot the disease sooner; and they did it by pure accident.more>>
  • Giving Shannon A Voice Of Her Own

    Giving Shannon A Voice Of Her Own

    Wednesday, April 2 2014 5:15 PM EDT2014-04-02 21:15:05 GMT
    More than half a million children under age 15 has a severe communication disorder impairing their ability to speak or communicate with others. Now, advances in technology are giving them a voice—some for the first time.more>>
    More than half a million children under age 15 has a severe communication disorder impairing their ability to speak or communicate with others. Now, advances in technology are giving them a voice—some for the first time.more>>
Powered by WorldNow
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 NewsChannel 5 (WTVF-TV) and WorldNow. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.