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Pagels 1Jillian PagelsJulie McDiarmidENGL 1048 December 2015Concussions in High School AthletesToday, one of America’s favorite pastimes and entertainment is sports. Many people either play sports or follow them religiously. It involves almost everybody, from males to females and the young to the old. Sports often begin in the early stages of an athlete’s life, from peewee sports, and often they continue up to high school and sometimes even further. When people hear the word “sports”, they often think of contact sports such as football, basketball, soccer and so on. The “contact” part of the sport can be very serious. It is seen a lot in high school athletics; the players play very competitively as they often only have four years to play their sport and they want to make them count. When the players get highly competitive, it often leads to injury, the most serious of them being concussions. More often than not, high school athletes do not view concussions as serious as they really are and therefore they often ignore any symptoms they occur. The fact of the matter is that concussions are very serious, and therefore information about concussions is necessary including the symptoms, the risks of continuing to play with one, and the overall long term effects a concussion can potentially have on the brain.Many times when high school athletes are asked what a concussion is, they know the basics, such that it is an injury to the brain/head. Certified Chiropractic Sports Physician and Certified Athletic Trainer, Doctor Kelley J. Roush stated, “There are various types of injuries to the head, with the most common being a concussion or traumatic brain injury (TBI). A traumaticbrain injury is defined as a blow or jolt to the head or related structure that disrupts normal
Pagels 2function of the brain” (1). Based on the extent of the injury to the brain the symptoms can range from mild, moderate to severe. The most common physical signs of a concussion include: headache, dizziness, light sensitivity, balance problems, vomiting, confusion, slurred speech, noise sensitivity, and fatigue. There are also cognitive signs of concussions that include but are not limited to: “difficulty concentrating, repetitiveness, answering questions slowly, feeling mentally in a fog, difficulty remembering, being forgetful, and appearing confused about events”(2). Those with concussions may act out in irritability, sadness, and nervousness. For example, a football player from Berrien Springs High School received a concussion and was very confused and then started to laugh hysterically, most likely out of nervousness. These acts are usually following right after the concussion. The most mild symptoms that can be hard to detect, is often when athletes ignore them and continue to play, making it far more dangerous for the athlete.