By: Benjamin Osterhaus
Today’s young athletes are at risk of sacrificing their dreams due to traumatic brain injuries from field activity. Society has become more aware of the long term risk of a serious head trama to a developing brain. Sports are also more demanding than they used to be. Practices and games have become more challenging and coaches are expecting more from their players. All across the country in the last 15 years, the amount of diagnosed concussions has increased dramatically. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the number of concussions for kids between the ages of 14 and 19 has grown by 200 percent.
Sarah Nestico, Assistant Athletic Director here at Seton-La Salle, elaborated on the question of how concussions should be treated. “Typically, one would rest until symptoms start to go away, then they would slowly return to brain activity, as much as they could tolerate it. Once brain activity felt ‘normal’, a gradual return to physical activity would start.”
Last year, sophomore Robert Gigliotti sustained a concussion playing football. “I can clearly remember it. It was practice, and the coaches lined up the senior linemen against the freshman linemen. I got thrown. I felt dizzy, had headaches, and had bad memory. I still to this day don’t remember hitting the ground. I was out of school for a month, and then I went in for half-days for another month.”
Concussions are defined as: Injury to the brain or spinal cord due to jarring from a blow, fall, or the like. A study conducted by The New York Times shows that 50 percent of high school athletes failed to report concussion-like symptoms that occurred as a result of playing football.
Concussion detection and prevention is now more advanced from all of the concussions that have been treated. Many common symptoms are headaches, nausea or vomiting, dizziness, confusion, and being bothered by light or noise. Concussions can be treated and limited, but they will not go away.