Be clear on symptoms, signs of concussion
Dr. Kevin Jackson
Equipment and good coaching techniques help prevent sports injuries, but unfortunately, concussions are commonplace for young athletes.
Concussions are a unique injury, as the symptoms all depend on how the patient feels or if others observe even a subtle change in behavior. It is important for athletes, parents, coaches, trainers and teachers to be fully aware of the various signs and symptoms of a concussion.
Dr. Kevin Jackson, neurosurgeon on staff at Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital, talks about the importance of education on concussion injuries.
“Routine concussions are usually self-limiting, but there is good scientific evidence that suggests serious complications can result when not taken care of properly,” Jackson said.
“There is no way to predict how severe the symptoms will be or the duration of symptoms. Supervision and medical action are key when a head injury occurs,” Jackson said.
The “Protecting our Student Athletes Act” was created in mid-2011 to ensure that all students, their families and coaches are made aware of the severity of concussions.
According to the bill, the act “requires the State Board of Education and park districts to develop and disseminate guidelines on policies to inform and educate coaches and athletes and their parents or guardians of the nature and risk of concussions, criteria for removal from and return to play, and the risks of not reporting the injury and continuing to play.”
Concussions are commonly found in high school athletes when playing full contact sports such as football, rugby, hockey and even soccer. Action should be immediately taken when any impact to the head happens on or off the field.
“It is irresponsible and potentially dangerous to assume one can ‘tough it out,’” added Jackson.