How to Increase Your Concussion Awareness
Like any sport featuring highly physical activity, soccer has its share of incidents where injuries to the head occur. There always remains the possibility that such an incident can lead to a concussion, which is a type of traumatic brain injury caused by a blow or jolt to the head or body which forces the brain to move rapidly inside the skull. The potential for concussions in soccer is heightened due to the large amount of collisions which may happen in any
game that is played, which are not always just head-to-head or head-to-body, but may also include hitting one's head on the ground, ball or goalpost. Concussions can have long-term impacts on young athletes, such as on their health, memory, and learning.
The Cal South Board of Directors recognizes the need for increased awareness about concussions, head injuries and brain trauma. In order to assist Cal South's administrators, coaches, referees, parents and players, a number of resources were made available online in February 2011 at www.calsouth.com/concussions/.
The resources were created by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC's "Heads Up: Concussion in Youth Sports" initiative gives facts about concussions, signs and symptoms, suggestions for prevention and treatment. The materials are provided in both English and Spanish, and are free for downloading or printing as needed. Leagues and club interested in spreading concussion knowledge to their coaches and parents can
also order full "Heads Up" Tool Kits, featuring magnets, posters and clipboards and fact sheets, at www.cdc.gov/concussion/HeadsUp/youth.html.
Cal South asks that all coaches, parents and players take some time to familiarize themselves with this very important information so that they will know the next steps to take if a concussion situation takes place on the field or at practice.
For more information about concussions and head injuries, please visit www.calsouth.com/concussions/ and follow the links provided.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS
SIGNS OBSERVED BY COACHING STAFF
• Appears dazed or stunned
• Is confused about assignment or position
• Forgets sports plays
• Is unsure of game, score, or opponent
• Moves clumsily
• Answers questions slowly
• Loses consciousness (even briefly)
• Shows behavior or personality changes
• Can't recall events prior to hit or fall
• Can't recall events after hit or fall
SYMPTOMS REPORTED BY ATHLETE
• Headache or "pressure" in head
• Nausea or vomiting
• Balance problems or dizziness
• Double or blurry vision
• Sensitivity to light
• Sensitivity to noise
• Feeling sluggish, hazy, foggy, or groggy
• Concentration or memory problems
• Does not "feel right"