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Keep Our Players Safe – The State Of Concussion Awareness In 2018

Sunday, February 11, 2018

 

With the Super Bowl fresh in everyone’s mind, football is a major topic of discussion. But the sport we love so much has recently been in the news again for another, more serious reason: one that’s associated with traumatic brain injury (TBI) – an injury that occurs during a blow to the head also known as a concussion.

Throughout the years, there’s been a number of NFL players – active and retired – who suffered from head trauma as a result of having multiple concussions during their careers. Some players, like Seattle’s Ricardo Lockette, have even retired early on in their playing careers to prevent further injury from happening. – These retirements are despite new developments in football helmets and state-level concussion legislation being enacted to combat this issue. The problem doesn’t just revolve around the NFL, either. In other words, this is an issue that should concern young athletes who play football and other contact sports, as well as coaches and parents.

The game of football has always been known for its violent collisions – especially at the college and professional level. One major concern is that players – like hard-hitting safety Kam Chancellor – could sustain a career-ending injury from a concussion, neck injury, or spinal injury during a game. But one head injury here and one head injury there can’t really be that bad, right? Wrong. Players that have had repeated concussions throughout their careers are far more susceptible to chronic pain and much more likely to develop diseases like chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). This is an issue brought to light from the 2015 motion picture Concussion; although the movie shared this knowledge to football fans all over the world, the harsh reality is doctors and other team physicians already knew about this problem.

Fortunately, the NFL has implemented new rules that bane helmet-to-helmet contact in an effort to help reduce the risk of concussions sustained. Off the field, players are also expected to participate in screenings that help detect concussions, help with recovery time, and determine when it’s safe for that player to return.

Nevertheless, despite these efforts, some believe that the game of football is simply far too dangerous for anyone to play and have even reached out to the NFL to ban the sport completely. These concerns, however, are brought up more frequently when it comes to youth sports. When a child sustains a concussion, for instance, their brains can suffer both an immediate and lasting effect as a result of the injury.

So, whether the politics behind this act is practical or not, only time will tell. In the meantime, there are steps that can be taken to make all contact sports – like football, hockey, and soccer – are safe for children and professional alike. Before playing, you should make sure the coaches are educating their players how to compete at the highest level in a safe manner. That way, the players are well informed and aren’t just focusing on winning alone – although that’s important. You should ask to have certified trainers at every game and practice to teach players safe techniques for tackling, and treat injuries. Remember, always be aware of some of the risk that comes with playing a contact sport, and be mindful of those around you.

 

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