Change in Americas Best Sport
Dealing with Concussion in football
To: The Sports Director
Date: 17th December 2015
Re: Dealing with Concussion in football
It is beyond reasonable doubt that sports are a great way for students to stay healthy while learning important team building skills. However there are risks to pushing the limits of speed, skills and endurance and those athletes who push the limits sometimes do not recognize their limitations especially when they have a concussion. Any slight distortion such as a blow or a jolt to the head can cause a concussion. Any blow to the body against a hard object with high pressure can adversely affect the brain and skull due to the unusual movements (Orthonc.com, 2015).
In sports, it is hard not to incur an injury while on the field, and it is our responsibility as an institution to make sure that our athletes are well taken care of, and there are minimal injuries in our sports department. All cautionary mechanisms need to be put in place to ensure that students understand the importance of sports as a recreational activity and not a place where futures are lost. Due to many cases of off the pitch and on the pitch injuries that were reported on the majority of our players, some preventive measures have been proposed to curb the increased injuries and improve safety on our players.
During the game, it is normally difficult to prevent an occurrence of concussions thus the best measure to be adopted is to devise the most suitable ways to deal with any incidents. All stakeholders are it, parents, coaches and athletes need to be well versed with best treatments available so as to contain a concussion in case it occurs. Previous studies on cases involving concussions have indicated that application of aggressive energy during play can have adverse effects since the helmets that are specially made to aid in the reduction of a case of injuries are not as much effective. Therefore, it is important to note that warning and judgement calls ought to be made on any risk situation as the impact of concussions only happen in the skull that is brought by a vigorous contact and not on the helmet. (Orthonc.com, 2015).
The healing patterns of most concussions typically depend on the impact experienced, with some resolving as fast as after a week. However, others even take as long as ten days or more than ten days when the associated impact was far reaching. For those concussions that go unreported to the health team, the likelihood of the next concussion having adverse effects of the patient is very high. Normally, the consequences of a case of a subsequent injury when the former was not well treated affecting other body systems is high hence causing death or disability. It is, therefore, necessary to create awareness with all concerned parties on a possible signs and symptoms of a concussion and how to identify it in advance. The quality of first aid offered by the patient is also critical ensuring that the effects are reduced to manageable levels.
Since health and fitness is a concern to all, all students, athletes and parents should be provided with a fact sheet on concussions if they occur in the effect of the New Jersey Concussion Law effected in December 2010. To ensure full effect of the law relating to a concussion, the fact sheet presented should be signed and submitted back before one can be allowed to participate in sport. Apart from the fact sheet presented during the signing of the contact, more information and tutorials can be obtained from the Brain Injury Alliance of New Jersey. Having mandatory health checks from a personal physician and the team doctor will ensure that we are thorough, and our team remains healthy and with much vigour at all times. Each fact examination should also be enclosed together with a doctor’s bill of health at the beginning of every season and during the season, the team doctor should have random checks on the athlete’s midseason (Foster, 2012).
Athletes should be provided with proper fitting helmets and protective equipment. Great care and cautionary mechanisms should be put in place to ensure that the helmets and other protective equipment apart from been worn regularly, they should also be well maintained and put in a safe custody after use. Remind the athletes that they have to avoid using helmets and their heads as weapons (SportsConcussion, 2015). The players should be taught on the Anti- Spearing Rules and the fact that head contact should be avoided at all points since the helmets worn are not as much effective. Remind the athletes that helmets can protect their head and brain but are not 100% effective in prevention concussions.
All the set rules as it regards the conduct of players and should be upheld at all times as well as practising good sportsmanship. Have punitive measures for the athletes and the team if any misconduct is witnessed that could cause harm to other members of the team. Include activities that strengthen the neck muscles. Body formation and musculature are important in reducing the level of impact caused in case of a physical contact. It has been that those players with strong necks are less likely to be faced with the adverse effects of a concussion, as the pressure is the neck significantly absorbs the pressure hence preventing the shocks from reaching the brain. Encourage the athletes to work out as often as they can to reduce injuries that could have been avoided. However, it is important that we do not overwork them, provide a minimum work out a sheet with hours that are acceptable in the gym (Foster 2012).
Instruct the athletes to use proper tackling techniques such as avoiding hitting the opponent with shoulders and head instead of the helmet. Studies contacted have resulted in varied opinions with no slid conclusion made as it regards the used of the mouth guard. Some suggest that it is useful while others claim that it adds no value in the prevention of concussions. While it may not be possible to show its benefits, there is no harm in making sure athletes are wearing them, since it helps reduce dental trauma as well as lacerations in the mouth. Off the pitch preparedness of the game is necessary and should involve physical examination of the playground for uneven points and presence of small stones before the season begins. Since in everything there is a possibility of wear and tear, it should regularly be done (Orthonc.com, 2015).
Use proper techniques. Organisational efforts to reduce the cases of occurrence of concussions through limiting the number of times a contact can occur by limiting the number of contact practices allowed during the season. This means that there will be “no contact for two-thirds of each practice and plays that include head-on blocking and head to head contact is eliminated” (SportsConcussion, 2015).
By implementing the suggested ideas provided this will ensure that our athletes understand the importance of the self-care and by involving those around them make it safer for them. This will also help us gain trust from parents who might view the sport as an unsafe activity for their children. With all the important members being involved and participating the sport will have minimal injuries. Good health is as important as a great education.
Foster, T. (2012). Popular Science: The Helmet That Can Save Football. Retrieved 17 December 2015 from http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2013-08/helmet-wars-and-new-helmet-could-protect-us-all.
SportsConcussion,. (2015). Concussion Prevention – Sportsconcussion. Web. Retrieved 17 December 2015, from http://www.sportsconcussion.bianj.org/concussion-prevention/
Orthonc.com,.(2015). Tips on Concussion Prevention, Orthopaedic Specialists North Carolina. Retrieved 17 December 2015, from http://www.orthonc.com/concussion-clinic/tips-concussion-prevention
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