Concussions in Football

American football has been dealing with several controversies over brain damages suffered by players. Hundreds of former players have filed a class-action lawsuit against the National Football League, which has pushed the authorities to fund research work to identify the real cause of trouble. At the same time, helmet manufacturers are trying everything they can to protect players from concussion. The NCAA and NFL have also implemented different policies related to concussions in football. Keep reading to learn everything about it and things you can do to protect yourself.

How Do Concussions Happen?

A blow, bump, or jolt to the head can lead to a concussion, which is a type of brain injury. Concussions can also occur when something hits the body with so much force that it makes the brain to bounce around within the skull. This movement can cause severe stretching and damage the cells in the brain. After these changes, the brain becomes more vulnerable to other injuries in the future. The problem is that a concussion is not like a broken ankle that you can see and feel, but it is a disruption of how your brain works. Concussions in football are quite common and happen because of a fall or from players hitting each other with force; in fact, a ding or what feels like a small bump to the head can be quite serious.

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Concussion?

You will experience different signs and symptoms if you end up deal with concussions in football. Some who has concussion will:

  • Appear stunned or dazed
  • Fail to recall events prior to a hit
  • Forget instructions
  • Answer questions slowly
  • Move clumsily
  • Lose consciousness
  • Show personality or behavior changes

The most common symptoms of concussions in football include nausea, headache, light sensitivity, dizziness, confusion, trouble concentrating and sluggishness.

What Are Dangerous Concussion Signs?

While you should see a doctor if you notice abovementioned signs and symptoms, you need immediate medical attention if you notice dangerous concussion signs such as blood clots in the brain. Other dangerous signs include the following:

  • One pupil smaller than the other
  • Drowsiness
  • Severe headache that gets worse with time
  • Slurred speech
  • Numbness and weakness
  • Loss of memory
  • Trouble remembering people
  • Confusion and unusual behavior

What to Do If Concussions in Football Are Suspected?

If you are serving a football team as a coach, you need to ensure that your athletes are safe and help them understand how to prevent it. If you suspect a concussion in football, you should take the following steps:

  • Start by removing the injured athlete from play and examine him for signs of a concussion.
  • Ask a healthcare professional to evaluate your athlete thoroughly.
  • Be sure not to give your verdict if you are not that sure about the symptoms.
  • Provide certain details to the healthcare provider, including cause of injury, force of the hit, any loss of consciousness following an injury, and any seizures. Whether the athlete lost his memory immediately after the blow.
  • Be sure to consider the number of previous concussions when evaluating your athlete.
  • Do not let the athlete resume the play. Keep him off at least until he has been evaluated thoroughly by a health care professional.

How to Treat Concussions

Concussions in football are not always serious. Some people become normal within a few hours, while others keep experiencing symptoms for weeks or even months after the blow. It is important that you do not make any hasty decision and take your time to return to your regular activities. If you notice your symptoms coming back once you resume your sporting activity, you should stop immediately and talk to your doctor about your condition. You need to take plenty of rest to recover from a concussion. Here are some other tips that will help treat a concussion in a better way.

  • Do not use alcohol and other illicit drugs.
  • Do not take part in activities that are mentally or physically demanding.
  • Talk to your doctor and confirm when you are in a position to drive a car or operate heavy machinery.
  • Use a cold pack if there is swelling. Apply an ice pack for only 20 minutes at a time. Be sure to place a thick cloth between your skin and the ice.
  • Take pain medicine as directed by your doctor.

How to Prevent and Prepare for Concussions in Football

It is always important to take safety measures to prevent concussions. While no technique is 100% effective, it will always help minimize the impact of a blow. For instance, it is important to ask your athletes to practice heads up football. They should never lower their heads during a hit. A coach should teach athletes proper techniques to block and tackle. Players should always wear properly fitted helmets and use other protective equipment as well. They should also learn to take the right care of their protective equipment and keep it in the best condition

If you are playing in your college's football team, you should know concussion policies in your school, league, and district. It is also important to learn how to prevent these injuries and how long it usually takes to return to play. Both parents and athletes should sign the concussion policy statement after reading it thoroughly.

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