It’s football season. That means young boys and men everywhere will soon be suiting up, putting on their helmets and throwing bone-crunching blocks and tackles. Putting their bodies on the line. Doing whatever it takes to carry the ball into the end zone.
With the game also comes talk about concussions. Why is that? Studies have found that football players are high-risk for concussions. And concussions are brain damage. But what are concussions, exactly? And what can one do to you or your child?
Concussions aren’t just headaches
The problem with concussions is, as one writer put it, the brain is squishy. Your skull is hard and can protect your brain from a lot of damage. But some hits can rattle your brain around inside your skull. A football player’s skull and helmet can protect his brain from other football players. It cannot keep his brain from banging against his own skull.
A concussion is caused by the brain banging against the inside of your skull. This damage is a serious problem because your brain is your body’s control center. It’s also the center of your:
Football players who suffer multiple concussions may develop a disease called chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). College and pro players have died from this disease. Even if a player doesn’t die, they may suffer extreme memory loss and violent behaviors.
What should you look for after a hit on the field?
One hit can cause a concussion. It doesn’t even have to be that hard. Even a single concussion can cause serious problems. That’s why it’s important to watch for the signs. These include:
- Poor sleep
- Personality and mood changes
Damage to your brain could be damage to the core of your identity. Brain damage can last a long time, even for the rest of your life.
Never ignore a concussion
Players who take hits to the heads shouldn’t just shake it off and rush back into the game. A coach, referee, or trainer should check for signs of a concussion. If they don’t, they may be responsible for causing even more harm.