A few years ago while I was in the Army, one of my friends in the platoon named Colton took leave and went on a skiing trip. After a few hours of skiing, Colton suffered a horrific accident in which he ran into a tree. Colton was asked repeatedly, “are you okay” but he persisted that he was fine. He dusted himself off and went back to skiing like nothing happened. He would go on to eat and have a few drinks with some of the other platoon members before he suddenly collapsed, frightening those around him. They rushed him to the hospital and it was determined that Colton had suffered a concussion. When pressed for answers, Colton had no recollection after the accident. He claimed he remembered running into the tree but couldn’t remember anything after that. This is one of the variables that make concussions difficult to diagnose and treat because athletes often don’t know they’ve suffered a concussion. A concussion is defined by Webster as “An injury to a soft structure, especially the brain, produced by a violent blow or impact and followed by a temporary, sometimes prolonged, loss of function. A concussion of the brain results in transient loss of consciousness or memory”
( The American Heritage® Science Dictionary, 2015). There is also a culture in sports that hinders research on head injuries. Concussions have become an issue that transcends all sports but they are definitely more prevalent in football, hockey, and rugby. With the fact that 47% of all sports concussions happen in high school football (Sports Concussion Statistics, headcasecompany.com), the main focus should be on our youth and the big question of what can we as parents do? I believe that parents should wait until their child is 14 before having them participate in violent contact sports, however it should be their choice. Those who opt to allow their children to participate at younger ages should be educated on the risks...