Parents today have more to worry about today than ever before, and, on top of everything else, parents of student athletes have to worry about concussions and how to prevent them. Whether your son is playing football or lacrosse, or your daughter is playing soccer or field hockey, the good news is that there are things you can do to fight their risk for head injury.
Dr. Joshua Rotenburg is a neurologist in Houston, recommends getting a game plan together before the seasons start so that you will be prepared ahead of time.
5 Pre-Season Prevention Measures
1: Learn everything you can about concussions
Concussions are complicated, subtle, and difficult to recognize — especially on the part of the children who might have gotten one. If you can’t prevent concussions, you can at least prevent complications.
Familiarize yourself with the symptoms, which can include: headache, dizziness, nausea, depression, memory loss, and insomnia. Concussions can be caused in any head-impact — not just hard football helmet-to-helmet hits. Even non-athletes can get injured — kids with ADHD and people with previous concussions are especially at risk.
2: Check protective equipment
Make sure athletes have highly-rated equipment that is in good shape. Safe helmets are key to preventing bad head injuries. There are even helmets for sports that don’t normally have them — soccer and field hockey, for example. Make sure it fits.
Some bad habits in athletics can lead to higher risk for concussion, make sure athletes are trained on proper procedure. Strength training can go a long way too. Make sure tackling technique or heading the ball techniques are taught to novices.
4: Pay attention as a parent
Coaches and trainers are excellent resources, but no one knows your child better than you do, it is likely that you will see unusual performance or behavior before anyone else does.
5: Know what you’ll do if there is a concussion
Before the season begins, make sure your child gets a baseline test to establish their cognitive functioning. This will ensure easier diagnosis of concussion in the future. If your child has a concussion, know which doctor you will take them to.