A concussion is a temporary disruption of brain function caused by a sudden force transmitted to the head. We worry about concussions for a few reasons. The first is the rare chance that another blow to the head, even a mild one, while the brain is still vulnerable from the first injury could lead to severe brain swelling. Secondly, there is concern that multiple concussions could eventually add up to permanent problems with thinking and memory. Finally, even if they are short-lived, concussion symptoms can interfere with learning and social interaction during a crucial period of development in a young person’s life.
You don’t have to be “knocked out” in order to have a concussion. There are many other clues to look for that might indicate the brain is stunned including headache, confusion, memory trouble, nausea, poor balance, vision problems, and trouble concentrating.
An athlete should never return to play or even exercise while experiencing any concussion symptoms. In fact, anyone suspected of having suffered a concussion should not play again that same day even if symptoms clear up quickly. Remember the adage “when in doubt, sit them out”.
Concussions are an important health issue for soccer players, but when armed with knowledge about prevention, recognition, and appropriate management of this injury players of all levels can continue to play safe and play smart.
The information on this website is intended to provide that knowledge and includes links to articles, videos and other resources to help you learn to protect yourself, your child, your players.
Daryl A. Rosenbaum, MD.