If you've followed the NFL at any point during the past few years, you've no doubt heard and seen the detriments of concussions.
From the repeated suicides of former players to the shocking stories of mental breakdowns among current players, the topic of concussions has completely changed the way we look at big hits and revolutionized many of the sports we love.
However, you don't need to look to the professional leagues to find a concussion epidemic. As many as four million sports-related concussions occur every year in the United States, with countless others going unreported. It's important to keep yourself educated on how to deal with concussions for the health of your child. These questions are frequently asked in regard to this type of head trauma:
What is a concussion?
A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury. Concussion comes from the Latin word concutere, which means "to shake violently." A concussion is a short loss of normal brain function in response to a head injury.
What triggers a concussion?
Contrary to popular belief, it doesn't take severe trauma to suffer a concussion. Since a concussion occurs when the brain is jarred around in one's head, any contact that causes rapid head movement can result in a concussion. It doesn't have to be one hit either. Multiple hits over the course of a game increases an athlete's risk of concussion.
What are the symptoms to look for?
An athlete may claim to just be a little dazed after a big hit, asking to just "walk it off," but if an athlete describes having a headache or dizziness, shows signs of balance problems or difficulty remembering, assume the player is concussed. It's crucial to then have him or her evaluated by an athletic trainer or a physician trained in sports medicine. When dealing with your child's brain, it's better to be safe than sorry. There are very simple eye tests which examine reaction time to determine whether or not an athlete has a concussion, but they aren't always proven effective.
Are there supplements I can give my child to help protect them?
Outside of rest, not much can be done as the brain will heal itself naturally over time. However, there's been a link between antioxidants and decreasing damage to the brain following a concussion. A combination of vitamins A, B-complex, C and E, the minerals selenium and zinc and omega-3 DHA has shown to be beneficial.
How long should I keep my child out of sports after a concussion?
There have been instances where players suffered what seemed to be a minor concussion, but experienced effects for nearly a year after. In other instances a player is completely free of symptoms within one to two weeks. As every child is different, their brain is also different. Every concussion should be taken on a case-by-case basis.
Is my child now more vulnerable to repeated concussions?
Once someone suffers their first concussion, it's possible the tolerance of impact can be lessened. It's important to ensure your child has absolutely no concussion-like symptoms before returning them to the field. A concussion that's not completely healed will put the athlete at greater risk of not only further brain damage now, but down the road as well.
How do I prevent future concussions?
There is no surefire way to prevent a concussion. If your child plays a contact sport, they're going to get hit. The best thing you can do is, if applicable to the sport, buy your child the best helmet possible. While helmets are used more to prevent skull fractures rather then concussions, a properly fitted helmet goes a long ways in lessening the impact. You can also speak to your child's coach, about your safety concerns and discuss possible changes to drills in practice.
Many sports are bending the rules to better accommodate athlete safety. While there isn't a direct supplement to help with concussion relief, eVitamins offers a wide variety of products to help protect your child's brain, as part of their daily routine. Stay safe!
Products you may like:
Source Naturals Renewal Antioxidants Why you may like this product? Renewal Antioxidants helps defend against an extremely wide spectrum of destructive free radicals including peroxyl, hydroxyl and superoxide radicals. Antioxidants help to lessen the long term effects of brain trauma.
Now Foods Super Antioxidants Why you may like this product? Antioxidants help to limit the effect of brain damage after a concussion. Giving your child an antioxidant could help keep there brain healthy long after their playing days are over.
Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega + CoQ10 Why you may like this product? Essential fatty acids and CoQ10 are a must for maintaining a healthy heart. Increasing heart health can help protect your brain from oxidative stress and damage.
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