This is the third post in a four-part blog series on concussions. Concussion prevention is incredibly important, including how to reduce the likelihood of a head injury, as well as educating young athletes on how to prevent their symptoms from getting worse after having had a concussion.
Preventing concussions (or lessening the likelihood of a severe concussion) comes down to a few important things including wearing the right equipment (such as a proper fitting helmet), strengthening the muscles in your neck, proper technique in your sport and avoiding as many hits as possible. This advice comes from Robert C. Cantu, MD, Chief of Neurosurgery Service at Emerson Hospital and the Senior Advisor of the Sports Concussion Clinic at Boston Children’s Hospital.
Additionally, baseline testing is a great preventative measure that happens at the beginning of a sports’ season, whereby the “normal” cognitive functioning of an athlete is tested to be used as a baseline if a head injury should occur during the season. This type of testing gives medical professionals a strong starting point to understanding the level of severity of the head injury.
Additionally, wearing the right equipment that is the proper fit is another measure that can reduce the likelihood of a serious head injury, although it cannot safeguard against it all together.
Click here to watch a video (4 minutes) about the way in which some trainers are working to prevent concussions and understand what’s “normal” for their athletes through preventative baseline testing.
With regards to preventing further injury after a concussion, it is critical that athletes don’t try to hide or “play through” their symptoms because this can worsen the symptoms and long-term effects. Staying off the field until the athlete has fully recovered (as determined by a medical professional), can be difficult for an athlete in the short-term, but is undeniably necessary for their long-term health.
Check back next week for part 4, exploring how concussion affect victims in the long-run, as well as additional concussion education resources.
As always, be calm, be confident and think common sense!
There’s no better time to refresh your concussion education and lifesaving skills. If you are in the Toronto area, contact us directly to set up an in-home, on-the-field or in-office session today!