Concussions
Concussion

Sports and Health

Concussions

Going beyond the impact

WHAT IT IS

  • Concussions are "a type of traumatic brain injury" that occurs from "a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or by a hit to the body that causes the head and brain to move rapidly back and forth." [Mayo Clinc]

  • According to the CDC, "sudden movement can cause the brain to bounce around or twist in the skull, creating chemical changes in the brain and sometimes stretching and damaging brain cells." [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention]

  • Recent studies reveal the damaging effects of concussions, which have sparked debate over the safety of contact sports. [USAToday]

  • Some are calling to ban football from high schools, due to the increased risk of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE). [ABC News], [The Concussion Foundation]

  • Neuroscientists suggest preventing students from playing football until at least age 14. [USAToday]

SIDE EFFECTS of a CONCUSSION

Headache

Severe pain. Can be continuous or intermittent

Body

Poor balance, blackout, fatigue, ears ringing, sensitivity to light

Sleep

Imbalances can cause difficulty falling asleep or difficulty staying awake (chronic fatigue

Cognitive

Mental confusion, disorientation, mild depression, irritability

WHY IT MATTERS

 

Repeated concussions can lead to long-term brain damage such as the breakdown of brain tissue, memory loss, depression, anxiety, diminished impulse control, and/or death. [ABC News]

THE PROTECTORS

Not worth it

Is the risk really worth the potential of crippling side effects?

 

 

Control it first

Some believe football and other contact sports should be banned until new safety regulations are in place.

 

 

Dangerous

Others believe football is too violent and will never be safe to play. [CNN]

THE RELAXED

Education and training

It’s important to raise awareness on the subject, but some believe it is not necessary to prevent students from playing certain sports. [ABC News]

 

Some believe we should retrain or properly educate athletes to tackle without head contact.


 

Gateway ban

Some argue that football is "mild," compared to skiing, skateboarding, equestrian, and even bicycling. And if we start banning football, what is next? [ABC News]

 

 

More knowledge

Some believe that the increase in concussions in recent years is due to increased awareness, not increased injury.

WHERE WE ARE NOW

  • Some members of Congress consider the issue a “matter of public health.” [MSNBC]

  • Concussions in the NFL have dropped since the start of the debates. [CNN]

  • New training programs have been introduced to encourage safer practices on the field.

THINGS TO THINK ABOUT

  • Should a symbol of American culture be removed out of a concern for safety?

  • How can we make contact sports safer without changing the rules of the sport?

  • Learn more about how to properly tackle.

  • Learn more about how to properly head a soccer ball.

Key Vocabulary