With concussions at the forefront of discussion in football, youth football coaches must be proactive about concussion identification and management on the field. We also want to educate the players about the symptoms, encouraging them to report them immediately, and engage parents in the recovery process as well.
Ideally, a concussion should be identified as early as possible to minimize the length of recovery and the severity of the injury. Though this is no absolute guarantee of a speedy recovery, quickly identifying a concussion and taking immediate action to remove an injured player from the field is the best thing that can be done following the minutes after the injury. Doing so can avoid prolonged problems, such as post-concussion headaches (like migraines), learning or attention problems, or vestibular issues (ear + eye coordination). These issues generally resolve over time, but recovery can take weeks or months if a child is allowed to continue to play through an injury.
SportzSafe would like to encourage parents learn what signs and symptoms to monitor after an injury. In most cases, a child can gradually return to his or her homework and no change should be seen in their sleeping pattern. Though one may be tempted to check on their child more frequently than usual, we want to try to maintain and stick to a child’s regular routine. Parents are often told to closely to monitor their child, but better evidence now suggest that rest should be limited and activity increased as tolerated. However, a child should never be allowed to practice or return to play without being cleared by a medical professional.
In short, if you or your player gets a concussion, stay calm and don’t panic; be proactive. Concussions are treatable, like any other injury.
Stay safe out there!