Every year thousands of youth and high school athletes receive sports-related concussions. Concussions are among the most common and potentially among the most dangerous injuries high school and younger athletes receive. Recently concussions have been getting more attention from doctors and team trainers due to increased awareness, but more still needs to be done to protect young athletes. No sport is immune to concussions. They don't just occur in football and boxing, concussions are commonly seen in baseball, basketball, and soccer too. Increasing participation in youth and high school athletics has helped lower rates of childhood obesity, but has also increased the risk on injuries to these young athletes (Denke 1). Concussions in youth sports are a silent epidemic that is affecting thousands of athletes every year. .
"A concussion is a disturbance in the brain's function caused by a direct or indirect force to the head " (Washburn 5). Concussion damage is invisible, which makes it one of the hardest injuries to diagnose. CT and MRI's are primarily used to rule out skull fractures and bleeding in the brain. They can't detect "changes in cell chemistry in the brain caused by concussions " (Washburn 3). Symptoms of concussions are but aren't limited to: headache, balance problems/ dizziness, nausea, vision problems, confusion, drowsiness, difficulty concentrating/remembering, trouble falling asleep, and sensitivity to light (Washburn 5). Symptoms may worsen over the first 24-48 hours (Washburn 6). Many times, athletes are reluctant to tell others of their symptoms in fear out of letting their teammates down or losing their spot on the team (Denke 3). Athletes who suffered a concussion shouldn't return to playing their sport until completely symptom free (Washburn 3). Concussions are very dangerous to everyone because of the possibility of long term effects. Experts say that about 10%-12% of patients with concussions suffer long term symptoms.