How to Minimize Concussions in Young Athletes

young athlete punching a ball with his head

Increasingly, sports fans are turning their attention to the incidence of concussions in high contact sports.  Many are concerned with the trend in youth sports, especially football.

Concussion mitigation is a growing concern in both professional and amateur sports.  People are now calling for major sports leagues to enact measures to reduce concussions and their voices are loudest in the realm of youth amateur sports.

Concussions can have major implications for children and youth, so this post is about how to minimize concussions in young athletes, in the interest of supporting healthier lives for them as adults.

How Are Concussions Caused?

Impacts to the head can cause the brain to be shaken inside the skull.  When the impact is hard enough, concussions occur.  These can range in severity.  Some concussions pass without incident.  Others can cause numerous problems.

If a concussion is even suspected; if there’s been any impact to the head, for example, it’s crucial that the athlete implicated receive a medical examination as soon as possible following the incident.

Concussion Mitigation

Do you have a kid in sports?  Make a visit to the doctor for a full physical exam a pre-season occasion.  Ask your physician to discuss the symptoms of a concussion with your child and then reinforce the message, as the season starts.

Knowing what a concussion feels like is a good way for active kids to be their own best friends, when it comes to potential concussions.  It helps them identify concussions in teammates and get treatment for themselves in the event of a concussion more quickly. Knowledge is power.

When your child understands how a concussion can impact the brain (light headedness, dizziness, blurred vision), that creates empowerment to ask teammates who’ve been in a player collision the right questions.

Instill Sportsmanship.  Coaches

Talk to your kids about sportsmanship.  Winning isn’t always the ultimate good.  Teamwork is what it’s all about.  So, letting your kids know that their safety and health are more important than a pennant is part of parenting.

Coaches can help by teaching proper tackling technique and providing their teams with information about how to strengthen their necks and protect themselves from injury.

The Right Stuff

Wearing the right equipment on the field is a key concussion mitigation strategy.  It can mean the difference between an injury and walking off the field at the end of the game in one piece.

The helmet is crucial.  Helmets don’t prevent concussions (important to know).  What they can do is mitigate the extent of head injuries.  They should be of a high quality and worn for training and games, for the safety of young players.

Young athletes are learning about competition and team work.  Sports are a healthy part of life that all kids should participate in.  But safe participation that minimizes concussions in young athletes is a priority for parents and coaches.

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