We’ve barely made it past the Fourth of July, and we’re already thinking about back-to-school lists. There are so many things that need to be done in the next few weeks for our young athletes! Protective pads – check. Sport-specific shoes – check. Helmet – check. Mouthguard – check. Concussion Baseline Test … wait, what? Why take a concussion test if you haven’t had one recently?

The Concussion Baseline Test uses computer games to measure memory, reaction time, and mental-processing speed. This test is used by the NFL, pro baseball, NASCAR, and most collegiate sport programs. This baseline data is stored away in case an athlete does suffer a concussion; then, medical professionals can compare the functioning of the injured brain to the way it operates normally, and know when the athlete has recovered completely.

This test also records a person’s history of concussions during their lifetime. Why? Because the more concussions you’ve had, the more dangerous each new one can be to your brain, especially if you’ve had any recently. In fact, until a concussion is completely healed, it only takes minor trauma to make things much worse … even deadly.

Do I have your attention now? Good! Because concussions are one of the most common sports-related injuries in the U.S. with over three million sustained each year! Although you may have recently read some headlines about the NFL and head injuries, it’s not just football where traumatic brain injuries can occur. Soccer, volleyball, bicycling, and cheerleading are also high-risk sports. Over half of concussions take longer than one week to resolve, and they can’t be diagnosed with a CT scan or an MRI.

Should you keep your kids out of action sports? Of course not, but be aware of the dangers of concussions to a developing brain – especially multiple concussions. Corey Robinson, son of San Antonio Spurs’ legend David Robinson, had a shining career in football ahead of him going into his final year at Notre Dame. But he walked away from the game after suffering three concussions during his junior year.

Robinson had read about the long-term effects of these concussions and consulted with his doctors, who helped him make a difficult but mature decision. He knew that more concussions could mean early dementia from CTE (Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy). He knew of many sports stars that had suffered and died from this, and he realized how likely it was that he could become a victim.

So, I urge parents to have that same mature attitude when cheering on their kids in sports. Don’t lose sight of the important things, like their brains and their future. Sports are a wonderful way to build discipline, physical strength, self-esteem, and teamwork, but be on top of concussion science. Don’t argue with a coach or doctor that suggests that your child sit out for a few weeks or even the rest of the season. These young athletes have a long, productive life ahead of them, and contact sports are not everything. There are plenty of alternative, less-risky sports to keep them in good physical shape for the rest of their lives.

Related Posts

  • 68
    NFL Linebacker Chris Borland’s recent decision was a brave one; he walked away from a $3 million contract over the issue of concussions. Last August, the 24-year old Borland was just starting out as a rookie linebacker for the San Francisco 49ers. During his first training camp he suffered a…
    Tags: nfl, concussion, concussions, sports, injuries, football, traumatic, young, athletes, year
  • 68
    In a recent article, the Wall Street Journal reported that the NCAA, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Defense, is undertaking a 3 year $30 million dollar study pertaining to head injuries and concussions. Of note, the NCAA has already agreed to pay $75 million to settle a class…
    Tags: concussion, concussions, athletes, injuries, sports, football, baseline, brain
  • 67
    A proper concussion management program requires many people filling many roles to be successful. A successful clinic requires many people filling many roles to provide exceptional patient care. I would be unable to do my job without the support that I have. Tranette Ledford is one of those people. In…
    Tags: concussion, injuries, concussions, baseline, brain, athletes
  • 62
    Hallelujah! Finally, the NFL, yes THE NFL, has admitted that there is a link between football and chronic brain injuries specifically CTE (Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy). Careful, you might be hit by a flying pig, or trampled by the horsemen of the apocalypse. I guess that Hell has indeed frozen over,…
    Tags: nfl, injuries, brain, football, traumatic, concussions
  • 53
    Concussion awareness has skyrocketed. And as we’re learning, it’s a good thing. More school athletic departments are making players sit out following head injuries. More parents are seeking immediate medical treatment when their child suffers a head injury. And more lawsuits are targeting sports organizations at all levels – organizations…
    Tags: concussion, concussions, injuries, sports, good, test, baseline
Tagged on:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *