Head injuries and concussions among athletes

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It’s been well-documented that striking blows to the head that lead to concussions are not limited to professional athletes. At this, the height of high school football season, doctors like certified concussion specialist Dr. Mike Mirer want to remind students and parents alike that there are no small head injuries.

Dr. Mike Mirer/Chairman Of Pediatric Neurology at Moses Taylor Hospital: “Each head injury is big enough to get children to a professional for evaluation, a professional who is well trained and who can say the child is safe to play or should take a break.”

Dr. Mirer describes a concussion like a brief disconnect in the brain; when this happens, it takes a little time to reboot and restore, just like a computer.

There’s a lot more education in schools and among coaching staffs to be on the lookout after a head injury for signs like:

• Unsteady gait

• Disorientation

• Vomiting

• Unusual eye movements

• Headaches

• Sensitivity to light

• And generally feeling unwell

For many years, there was no objective tool for concussion testing. Now, doctors can test athletes in 15 to 20 minutes time on a computer to calculate response times and memory with the main treatment being rest.

Dr. Mike Mirer/Chairman Of Pediatric Neurology at Moses Taylor Hospital: “Basically avoid return to play, avoid repeated head injury, that’s the key element. 85% will recover within two weeks and return to play.”

Most experts say, “If in doubt, sit it out.” Quick recovery is usually based on quick response to the injury as well as seeing a trained professional.

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