While the most common injuries in childhood sports are scrapes, bruises, joint sprains, muscle strains, and bone injuries, some of the more serious injuries can involve the head and face. That's why it's so important to protect these potentially vulnerable areas.
"A concussion is a prime example of this," Bruene explains. "In sports, the seriousness of a head injury is often downplayed by calling it a 'dinger' or 'getting your bell rung.' But, any suspected concussion should be taken seriously and be evaluated by a health professional, such as an athletic trainer or physician, immediately."
A concussion is the violent shaking of the brain within the skull. "This can happen in any sport, even sports you don't think of as being high-impact. You might get hit hard in the head with a ball, run into another player or collide with the ground," Bruene says.
Anyone who's had a concussion should avoid any more blows to the head and definitely shouldn't play sports until the brain has had time to heal. The bottom line is no athlete who is still symptomatic from a concussion should return to play.
"Care needs to be taken to avoid a second concussion while the brain is repairing itself from the initial injury," says Bruene. "The athlete has the potential to suffer severe damage with the second concussion if the brain hasn't fully recovered. This 'second impact syndrome' is usually universally fatal."
Watch closely for symptoms of a concussion, which may not appear right away.
Baseball is the leading cause of sports-related eye injuries in children, and the highest incidence occurs in children 5 to 14 years of age. But all athletes are vulnerable to eye injuries.
In sports, the seriousness of a head injury is often downplayed by calling it a 'dinger' or 'getting your bell rung.' But, any suspected concussion should be evaluated by a health professional immediately.
"My goal is for athletes to stay healthy and stay in their sports," says Bruene. "Following these safety tips will help them avoid serious injuries while having they're competing."
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