Doctor explains best ways to prevent head injuries while playing contact sports
TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Many young people participate in contact sports like football and soccer, but they can be dangerous at times.
The fear of head injuries resurfaced again with the recent injuries to Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. He was hurt in a game against Buffalo and allowed to go back in and play. Then he was allowed to play again just four days later against the Bengals and got injured again after being slammed to the ground.
When we think of sports that result in head injuries most of us picture football. But did you know race car driving can also cause concussions?
Charles Krall is the manager of communications for ARCA Menards’ Series, a racing league.
“Accidents can happen at any time, so we do want to make sure that our race car drivers are protected with their head, their body, they’ve got containment seats that wrap around them that restrict movement when they are involved in an accident,” said Krall.
Sports medicine physician Dr. Eric Lindsley with Promedica said he sees concussions fairly often at work.
“The main thing we’re seeing is contact to the head so that acceleration and deceleration,” said the doctor. “Whether it’s your head against another opponent, against the ground, against the side of a car, it’s anything where that head’s in motion, and it quickly decelerates.”
Dr. Lindsley said some symptoms of a concussion are someone being wobbly on their feet, a loss of consciousness, headaches, confusion, and sensitivity to light.
And something to look out for when it comes to contact sports: “The thing you want to avoid is a second impact once you’ve had a concussion, so that’s why it’s so important to recognize the signs of concussion, diagnose them quickly, and remove the athlete or participant from any chance of hitting their head again,” said Dr. Lindsley.
Krall said that there are risks to driving a race car, but there are also ways to protect yourself from injury.
“Make sure all of your safety equipment is on, make sure you are using every piece of safety equipment that is available to you,” said Krall. “While it is dangerous, there certainly are plenty of pieces of safety equipment, and I don’t think it’s any more dangerous than your kid going out and playing high school football.”
Luckily, Dr. Lindsley said most concussions are minor and take 10 to 14 days to heal.
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