Head Injuries in High School Sports

High school athletes all around America are at great risk due to their lack of knowledge about head injuries.

Hayden Krupa, MHS Media Writer

One of the leading factors that prevents parents from allowing their kids to participate in sports is the risk of head injuries.

Out of an estimated 3.8 million head injuries that are linked to athletics each year, children 5-18 account for 2.4 million of these including 135,000 confirmed concussions annually. Consequently, it’s no shock that parents find concern in signing their children up for sports.

There are misconceptions that surround head injuries. Such as the notion that all head injuries are concussions, and all concussions have the same symptoms and recovery.

Marist athletic trainer Ms. Doyle stated, “[for] Concussions everybody is different, everyone is never going to be the same for any of it,” and she went onto explain that, “some of the signs you [should] look for [in a concussion] are: disorientation, sometimes issues with motor skills, headache, dizziness, [and] sensitivity to light,”

If you experience any of these symptoms for an extended time after a head injury, you should seek medical care.

NFL Hall of Famer and CTE victim Junior Seau (ESPN)

One of the scariest unknowns with a head injury are the long-term effects. Some advances have been made recently specifically surrounding the issue of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE). CTE is a brain condition caused by repeated head injuries which slowly gets worse and leads to dementia.

According to Ms. Doyle: “[having a past head injury] doesn’t necessarily increase the probability [of head injury] if you go back too soon, but the probability of you getting another concussion is more severe.”

Unfortunately, there are still unknowns with head injuries, and with a sports culture that encourages playing through injuries more and more, athletes ignore symptoms to play.

Until this issue is resolved parents are going to continue to be skeptical with sports and athletes are going to continue to put themselves at risk.