Each year, as many as 3.8 million cases of traumatic brain injury (TBI) occur among US athletes, ranging from elementary-aged children to professional adults. Even more unsettling is the fact that nearly half of all TBI cases require surgery to correct hematomas and contusions that result from these debilitating wounds. It's important for young athletes, their parents and their coaches to be aware of the risk of this type of injury, as well as the symptoms that may indicate a serious issue.
Resources on TBI education:
Concussion in Sports http://www.acsm.org/docs/brochures/concussion-in-sports.pdf This pamphlet from the American College of Sports Medicine provides information on what may cause a concussion as well as the symptoms to look out for. Keep Your Head About You - And Keep Your Kid from Losing Theirs
Living with Brain Injury http://www.biausa.org/living-with-brain-injury.htm This guide from the Brain Injury Association of America discusses what functions of the brain are impacted as a result of TBI.
Concussion Toolkit for Parents, Players and Coaches http://ppc.cattonline.com/ The Concussion Awareness Training Tool provides a wealth of information on how to provide support to children who have suffered a concussion.
HEADS UP to Youth Sports: Online Training http://www.cdc.gov/headsup/youthsports/training/ This online course from the CDC offers student athletes, parents, coaches and educators the opportunity to learn a broad range of TBI topics, including how to prevent and respond to these injuries.
While we all want our student athletes to enjoy the physical and character-building benefits of sports participation, it's critical to ensure that they do so as safely as possible.