Are Sports More Harmful Than We Thought?

New information on concussions shows how harmful they can be to athletes.

Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Creative Commons

New information on concussions shows how harmful they can be to athletes.

Alex LaFontaine, Staff Writer

In today’s sports world, concussions are arguably just as significant as the actual sport being played. Football tends to stand alone as a sport that provides the most concussions and officials and coaches are trying to minimize the head-to-head contact between players.

Junior Varsity tackle, junior Charlie Heim, who has played football for many years understands the changes game officials and coaches are making for football players’ safety.

“I think coaches are teaching different techniques to avoid the head area, but head to head hits are are still going to happen,” said Heim.

It is also not just the players who have realized the change and style of play due to head injuries. Football fans have also noticed the different style of play in major football leagues such as the NFL and NCAA.

“They have eliminated some of the big hits,” said junior and avid football fan Jordan Bobb.

With all the concern in concussions being directed towards football, one can hardly  wonder if football is being unfairly singled out.  The truth is, trauma to the brain can occur in any and all sports that feature heavy physical contact. Soccer is a sport in which head trauma is a huge concern.

“Three months have passed since the World Cup in Brazil, and still FIFA seems unaware or unwilling to grasp that head trauma has become the most serious — and potentially most litigious — issue threatening all of sports,” wrote Rob Hughes in an article published in the New York Times.

“I think people worry about concussions a bit too much, and there is some sort of misconception that concussions only happen in sports,” Heim added.

In reality, a concussion can occur any where at any time. A concussion could result from something as simple as a blow to the head. This brings up the question, is the school prepared for such a scenario?

 “First we diagnose the symptoms then we have a 30 minute observation,” said school nurse Ki-Nam Kim. “Then we check for lacerations or a bump… Then we call the parents to see what is best for their child to do,” said school nurse Ki-Nam Kim. 

Some people may wonder why concussions are suddenly such a big issue. In the past, from a medical point of view, concussions  were not seen as being very  serious, and doctors did not know how to diagnose them. 

“A concussion is defined as a major injury of the brain from an outside force and the brain actually shook in the skull. Symptoms are dizziness, pain and nauseousness then we give the diagnoses based on all that,” said Kim.

It is very clear now that concussions impact all sports and have significant impacts on the health of athletes so the question still remains: Why are people so generally unaware of the effects of concussions, and why are they so generally unconcerned about concussions? Hopefully people will become aware of possible concussion injuries that can occur in the sport of football or in any sport.