As sports get faster and collisions get more violent, concussions have become a growing concern for athletes at all levels. To protect yourself from the long-term effects of multiple concussions, it is essential that you, your coaches and your parents understand the outward signs and symptoms of concussions.
What is a concussion?
A concussion is a brain injury that occurs from either direct impact to the head or a whiplash motion.
Who is at risk for concussions?
All athletes are at risk for sustaining a concussion; however, athletes who engage in contact or collision sports are at a much higher risk. High-risk sports include football, soccer, basketball, hockey and wrestling.
What are the most common concussion symptoms?
A concussed athlete may experience one or all of the following symptoms:
- Delayed verbal/motor response
- Slurred speech
- Lack of coordination
- Ringing in ears
- Short-term memory loss
- Loss of consciousness
- Sensitivity to loud noises
Whenever any player sustains a trauma to the head, it is crucial that he or she be removed from the game and be evaluated by a trainer or physician. Athletes who have any of the above symptoms should be taken to the emergency room for further evaluation and diagnosis.
For more on concussion symptoms, diagnosis and treatment, see the STACK Concussion Guide.
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