Summer has hit. After torrential rain pour and tornadoes that threatened many towns, it seems as if the cold weather has subsided (cross your fingers). With the sunshine comes warm weather activities. And for most families comes summer sports.
If you live in a place like mine (fickle weather), certain sports are only played during the summer when the weather is good enough: soccer, football, baseball, etc.
But with summer sports comes summer injuries, and it is these injuries that have experts worried. Kids with sprained ankles and broken bones litter the hospital emergency rooms, but it is concussions that can be life threatening.
Complications from concussions can go from painful to deadly really fast.
Young athletes have one main goal in mind: play. Even with a serious injury, a young athlete is dying (figuratively, not literally, we hope) to get back in the game. However, this strong desire and love of the game can lead to getting back in the saddle too quickly before a wound is healed.
Experts are especially worried about the dangers of young athletes getting re-injured before their previous concussion has healed. Some are calling this “second-impact syndrome”, meaning that athletes will sustain a concussion, and before it heals again, get injured again on their head/neck. But this second injury is usually a lot worse, and, in many cases, it is death.
The worse part about these deaths– they are all preventable.
Read on for ways to reduce serious injuries and death.
- Proper equipment is the most important way to prevent injuries in any sport. Proper footwear (tennis shoes when playing basketball, appropriate cleats for soccer, football and baseball) is key to preventing any leg injuries. But other gear is especially important in preventing injuries. For more physical sports, head gear of some sort is not optional. That means helmets for footballers and mouth guards for other sports. This will help reduce concussions and other mouth injuries. Proper padding should also be worn to protect other parts of the body that are especially vulnerable like shoulders. Of course, a soccer player will not be wearing shoulder pads, so use appropriate padding for your sport.
- Know how to treat sports injuries. While the goal is to have young athletes avoid using their student health insurance, but it might come to taking an injured athlete to the hospital. If an athlete has sustained any neck injury, do not move him or her. This could further aggravate the injury making it worse. A visit to the doctor and rest are the best ways to heal from a concussion. If you suspect someone has a concussion, their symptoms might be dizziness, nausea, blurred vision and more. The athlete must rest until all of the symptoms have gone away. If not, they will risk injuring themselves again worse.
The scary thing about concussions is that it is actually brain damage. While this brain injury can be rectified with rest, continual brain damage can be permanent. So know how to prevent and treat concussions.