Baltimore Ravens linebacker Jameel McClain has teamed up with a Maryland sports medicine clinic to encourage young athletes to make themselves aware of the dangers of concussions and for adults to monitor concussion symptoms. The drive to "play through the pain" in the NFL and other professional sports has come under fire as more student athletes suffer concussions and other brain injuries as a result of emulating their example.
McClain revealed that in his rookie year he took a shot to the head, and though he wanted to return to the game, the team doctors kept him out of the game. In a public service announcement, McClain says "when in doubt, sit it out," indicating a need to monitor those who are hit in the head before clearing them to play again. Coaches, parents and fellow athletes are encouraged in the ads to recognize the symptoms of concussions.
According to research from the sports medicine clinic involved in the PSA, only half of kids who suffer concussions will report them to their coaches. Thus, the responsibility of friends, teammates, parents and coaches to monitor these injuries is very important, especially as the long term effects of the injuries remain unknown.
The NFL has come under fire recently on the issue of brain injuries and concussions, as former players have brought a suit against the league in regards to the resulting brain damage and the long-term effects of multiple concussions.
Concussions are not limited to athletics, however, as car accidents can often cause the same type of minor head trauma -- which at the time, may not appear to be serious but can develop into something more serious. Awareness of the symptoms of concussions, including headache, sensitivity to light, and difficulties concentrating or with memory, can ensure that the necessary treatment is received as quickly as possible.
Source: The Baltimore Sun, "Ravens, MedStar tackle issue of concussions," Meredith Cohn, Sep. 18, 2012
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