Today is National Concussion Awareness Day, and while concussion prevention efforts have improved dramatically over the past two decades, there are some misconceptions.
A concussion is a short-term impairment of brain function that is usually caused by a blow to the head, or a jolt to the body. A concussion will usually cause symptoms that can last anywhere from 10-14 days. There have been rule changes in recent years, aimed at decreasing the number of concussions suffered by athletes, and while there have been many advances in equipment that can help protect athletes, there is currently no helmet that has been proven to prevent a concussion.
Dr. Richard Figler of Cleveland Clinic tells us, “helmets do not prevent concussions. They help with head injuries, they help with facial injuries, but they don’t necessarily prevent concussions. They are better than what they used to be, but they’re not perfect.”
Coaches, players, and parents should be educated on how to spot an athlete who is exhibiting symptoms of a concussion. It’s crucial for these athletes to be removed from the field of play as soon as possible to avoid sustaining further injury and to be evaluated by a medical professional.