A number of high-profile concussion incidents in professional sport have put the topic high on the public agenda, with parents understandably worried that their kids might suffer the same fate during their sporting pursuits. While a few bodily knocks can be expected from participation in certain sports, the line is well and truly crossed when head injuries occur, and most of these happen through pure accident rather than malicious intent on anyone’s part.
Let’s make one thing clear: a person does not have to be unconscious to have suffered a concussion. You should watch out for red flags such as blurred vision, dizziness, slurred speech and difficulty with maintaining balance, all of which are warning signs of concussion. If you notice any of these in someone who has taken a blow to the head, remove them from the action immediately and get them treated by a qualified medic. The gladiatorial mantra of shaking it off and soldiering on is not acceptable when the possibility of concussion is present.
Regular viewers of the NFL will have seen multiple instances of concussions in recent years and one must wonder will it only stop when a player dies from a head injury incurred on the field. The regularity of concussions and head injuries should prompt the authorities to step up their efforts to eliminate them from the game, while players and coaches also have a responsibility to ensure a safe running of the game.