There are lots of false facts about concussions floating around the world of youth sports. Misunderstanding the severity and recovery process of concussions can cause long term damage in young athletes. Having proper knowledge of how to diagnose and treat concussions is important for all parents and coaches. Make sure you know what is TRUE and what is FALSE.
Common Concussion Myths
MYTH: If you don't lose consciousness, it's not a concussion
REALITY: The reality is, most concussions don't result in any loss of consciousness which means poorly trained coaches often put their athletes at risk simply because they don't know any better. It's important to be able to recognize the symptoms of a concussion, outside of losing consciousness, so athletes can be kept safe.
MYTH: Concussions are caused by blows to the head.
REALITY: A full body blow can cause a concussion because, even without direct contact, this type of impact can still cause the brain to crash around in the skull. If an athlete experiences any type of severe blow they are at risk for a concussion. Wearing pads can decrease the severity of tackles and hits, which in turn can help prevent concussions, but nothing is foolproof.
MYTH: Concussions don't have long term consequences.
REALITY: The damage caused by a concussion is far more complicated than just the initial damage from the impact. For days, weeks or even months after the initial damage, chemical changes can occur in the brain. An already concussed brain is more susceptible to damage, so it's important to prevent any sort of second concussion during the healing process.
MYTH: Male athletes are more prone to concussions.
REALITY: Females are actually more prone to concussion than male athletes. One potential difference is openness to reporting injuries. Some believe males are less likely to report injuries to a coach or a parent. One other theory is that, because women generally have smaller heads or because they have less developed neck muscles, they are more susceptible to concussions.
MYTH: It's okay to send kids back to school after a concussion.
REALITY: A concussion is a brain injury that affects the brains ability to think, focus, remember, and process new material. Sending a kid back to school before their concussion is fully healed not only risks further damage, but can actually be quite pointless as the brain often isn't healthy enough to retain new information.
The Bottom Line
Proper education is incredibly important, as is data of an individuals brain. Schedule a Baseline Assessment for your athlete TODAY and share the data with your doctor and school. Most importantly, discuss the risk of concussion and serious brain injury so that everyone is informed and prepared.
Want more information about the risks of concussion and what you can do to remain proactive?