Soccer is an immensely popular sport with all age groups in the U.S., but especially youth soccer players. It is not quite as violent as American football, but serious injuries – mostly concussions – still happen, and it’s vital to know the facts about head injuries.
The Mayo Clinic Arizona defines a concussion as a traumatic brain injury that alters brain functions. The symptoms of concussion could appear hours or days after the injury and include problems with memory, concentration, sleep, irritability and sensitivity to light and sound. Other symptoms include ringing ears, nausea, dizziness, slurred speech or loss of consciousness, according to a recent NBC Latino article.
Here are five tips to make sure your next soccer game with friends or family is a safe one:
- Make sure everyone involved with the game – including family on the sidelines – knows the signs of a concussion.
- Take baseline tests of athletes before the game so there’s something to compare their condition with after an injury.
- If a concussion is suspected, the player should be removed from the game right away and checked by a professional.
- Concussions can still happen without a blow to the head and passing out – sudden movements or jarring can also cause them.
- Get emergency help if a player gets a concussion and passes out for more than 1 minute.