Vision Therapy Blog

How to Prevent Sports-Related Concussions

posted on November 22, 2016

Any parent whose child plays sports worries about him or her sustaining a head injury, or a concussion. When your soccer-striker heads the ball, or your quarterback son is sacked, the first thought that comes to mind is whether they’ll need to be checked for a concussion. Education is key to preventing concussions. And it’s not just kids who get them, adults are vulnerable as well.

Learn these five tips to avoid this dangerous injury:

1. Learn the Techniques

When playing a sport, learn the proper techniques for executing certain moves on the field. Avoiding helmet-to-helmet contact in football, heading the ball at the right time versus knowing when to avoid doing so in soccer, wearing a helmet in baseball and while bike-riding, etc., are all ways to avoid a brain-damaging concussion. Teach your children to listen to their coach, who (hopefully) makes their safety his or her top priority. A recent study named the 2 leading causes of sports related concussions in children are cheerleading and soccer.

2. Wear the Equipment

Most sports require a measure of safety equipment to protect the players. The importance of wearing a helmet cannot be overstated while participating in many sports and outdoor activities. Properly wear of the helmet is also key. Always make sure to read and follow the manufacturer’s recommendations. Don’t skimp on wearing the right gear for the activity being engaged in. It only takes a second to do permanent damage to the brain, and other parts of the body. Your rate of a second concussion doubles with each concussion.

3. Play By the Rules

Winning isn’t everything. Don’t get fouled on purpose just to better your chances of victory. Play by the rules of the game, and don’t put yourself, your teammates, or your opponents in potential danger. It simply isn’t worth it.

4. Survey the Field

Before a game, the officials should check the field for holes, debris, or other damage that could cause falls, and possibly injury to the players.

5. Get Checked

If you or your loved one displays any symptoms of a concussion after sustaining a blow to the head, get checked immediately. These symptoms can include:

• Headache: can be persistent or severe
• Change in pupils: dilated or unequal in size
• Whole body: blackout, fatigue, or poor balance
• Cognitive: amnesia, disorientation, or mental confusion
• Gastrointestinal: nausea or vomiting
• Trouble reading/focusing
• Watery, sore eyes
• Other: irritability, mild depression, ringing in the ears, sensitivity to light, or sleepiness

Concussions are very serious. Besides sports, other causes of concussion are automobile accidents, falls, and whiplash/jarring of the head. There may be no outward visible signs of a brain injury, and, concussions can be difficult to diagnose. If you or a loved one is diagnosed with a concussion, vision therapy can aid in recovery. Contact us today to find out how.

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