President's Prescription: Concussions - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

President's Prescription: Concussions

Recently, the NFL pledged 100 million dollars to player safety as concern about concussions continues to plague the league.

But that's not just a worry for the big guys. The nation's doctors are concerned that concussions are showing up more and more in every sport, from the playing field to the playground.           

That's the focus in this week's President's Prescription.

Concussions contribute to thirty percent of all injury deaths. Every day, an average of 128 people dies from traumatic brain injury, while survivors can have impairments that last their entire lives.

Being able to spot the signs and symptoms of a concussion can protect people on and off the field.

Concussions occur when a person experiences a heavy impact to the head.

Children are more likely than adults to experience concussions, and they take longer to recover. Children also are less experienced with sports techniques, which puts them at a higher risk for sports injuries.  

Athletes should always wear appropriate gear for their sport. If players experience a blow to the head, they should be taken out of the game immediately and evaluated. A second injury to the brain before the first has healed can lead to second impact syndrome, which can result in brain swelling, permanent damage or death. An athlete should never return to the game after a traumatic brain injury the same day or if they are experiencing symptoms.

Most people will complain of a headache and feel tired or drowsy. In some cases, it may be up to others, such as coaches, teammates and loved ones to judge if a person has other symptoms, such as depression, agitation, confusion or fatigue.

The best way to treat concussions is with careful monitoring and rest from both physical and mental activities. Activities like reading, playing video games or driving a car may be too taxing on the mind and should be avoided.

Keeping an eye on athletes after a hard hit means safer sports and more time on the gridiron. 

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