Concussion safety: When in doubt, sit them out

If you are a volunteer coach, you know it is hard to juggle your home life, work, team practices, and games. It can be a grueling schedule that takes up a lot of your free time. But it is important to take every aspect of the sports season seriously even if you are short on time- especially concussion safety.

Over recent years, concussions seem to be a hot topic in the sports community. A lot of volunteer sports leagues have adapted mandatory concussion safety certification for all their coaches due to the alarming rate of concussion injuries. It really is important information that every coach, parent, or sports lover could benefit from learning. To take a quick, easy online certification course, just go to www.cdc.gov/concussion. It only takes a few minutes to complete but the information you will get is immeasurable.

The bottom line is concussions are dangerous. If you see one of your players get injured by a blow to the head, you need to sit him out until he can be evaluated by a medical professional. Symptoms of a concussion include, but may not be limited to: headache, blurry vision, nausea, balance problems, light sensitivity, feeling groggy or sluggish or confusion. It is important to note that injured players may not show any of these signs for hours after the injury.

So if you have a player tell you he is fine after a head injury, you should still sit him out until he can be looked over by the league trainer, a doctor, or other medical professional. Do not allow him back on the field until then. When he is released, make sure you keep watch for any signs that the symptoms return or worsen. Your players’ safety is the most important thing out there on the sports field.
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