Concussion in Youth Sports

In this project, I am focusing on concussions that occur overall in youth sports.  Everyone is at risk of a concussion, but children especially are more likely to be a potential victim of concussions.  Although we cannot fully eliminate the injury, there are ways to reduce the risk of concussions in youth sports.

According to CDC, TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) is a major cause of death and disability in the US (30%).  A TBI is caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head and can range from mild to severe injury, and can even cause death.  Concussion is a type of TBI and it is an injury to the brain by falls/hitting the head hard. 33% of all sports concussions happen during practice and approximately 8,000 children are treated in the ER each day for injuries related to sports.

Some common symptoms of a concussion are:

  • Headache
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Balance problems/dizziness
  • Blurry vision
  • Sensitivity to light/noise
  • Concentration problem
  • Decline in performance

Sofia and I worked together on this project and we brainstormed some ideas that would prevent concussions in youth sports.  Initially, we thought of creating a customized helmet with padding inside and outside for field players, but it was a bit difficult to construct and we saw that it was already in the industry, and we also could not test this out.  Then, we thought that if we cannot create a physical item, we can bring awareness to how concussions effect children and teens in sports everyday and how serious they are if not treated.

We created an info graph that explains what is a concussion, what are the common symptoms, what should you do if you think you have a concussion, what are some treatments, and how to prevent concussions/how can you help others as well.  We printed a few and handed them out to people in the school and we were hoping to educate them.  Here is our info graph that we created: untitled-infographic-conflict-copy  After we individually handed them out, we asked them if they have any opinions or thoughts about concussions and if this was helpful for them to know.  1) We asked Janelle Rey (senior) what she thought about this info graph and she said that it was very informative, information given was clear and easy to follow, and it was good to be informed about concussions to be safe.  2) We also asked Sam Sy (senior), and she said that it was informative as well, aesthetically pleasing, and it is helpful to know how to prevent concussions and what she can do to help others if they might have a concussion.  3) Next, we asked Anna Maria Lyssand (senior) about her opinions and she said that it was interesting that 33% of concussions happen at practice because that means it’s their teammates that are probably the ones hurting them when they should actually feel safest.  4) We asked Carissa Pasco (senior) and she said that she felt very informed after reading this and she knows what to do/how to help if someone she knows has a concussion. 5) Lastly, we asked Audrey Berardi (senior) and she said that she wished her friends who had concussions read this because they went back to school too early and it caused major setbacks.

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Overall, we received positive feedback on our info graph.  Based on our feedback from students, we believe that it was helpful and it informed the students that a concussion is a serious injury.  By providing ways that one could prevent/help others, it helped the students to understand and know how to be safe for themselves and others.

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Class Cameo 1.25.16-2.2.16

Hello all! It’s my turn to be updating you all during the week of January 25th, 2016. Although we did not have a class meeting this week, we did cover a lot of information. We just wrapped up chapter 5, which was all about the digestive system and we also learned about nutrition, as well. Heading into chapter 6, we started learning about the nervous system and the brain! We just started covering the basics of the nervous system with this concept map:

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We also read an article, “Is the NFL’s First Female Coach a Game-Changer?”, and it was about the Buffalo Bills have hired the first full-time female coach in NFL history, who is Kathryn Smith. You can read more about the article here.

I think it is definitely a game changer because this allows for true diversity in our society and shows that females are just as equal as men; they should be given the same opportunities. It also empowers girls to believe in themselves. Having a female representative in the sports industry is big because gender should not even matter. It is great seeing women getting accepted into jobs that are usually a male dominant field.

Lastly, we read another article about “a powerful benefit to exercise that is rarely discussed”. Wendy A. Suzuki discussed how not only exercise benefits your physical health, but it also improves your mental health. I found this article very interesting and I enjoyed reading it. I love to go on runs and to workout and it is great to learn that there are more benefits to exercising than just improving your physical health.

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Exercise and Brain Function

I just read an article about “a powerful benefit to exercise that is rarely discussed”. Wendy A. Suzuki discussed how not only exercise benefits your physical health, but it also improves your mental health. Some benefits from exercising are:

  1. Combats feelings of stress/negativity and increase levels of neurotransmitters (serotonin, noradrenalin, dopamine, and endorphins) – boost our moods
  2. Improves our ability to shift and focus attention
  3. Improves memory by increasing levels of long-term growth for the hippocampus cells – improve the imaginative functions
  4. Decreases the changes of dementia

I found this article very interesting and I enjoyed reading it. I love to go on runs and to workout and it is great to learn that there are more benefits to exercising than just improving your physical health.

I think that it is important for students to exercise frequently because it has many positive benefits for their physical and mental health. Students would be able to perform better in school and may have a better, positive mindset, since exercising combats feelings of stress/negativity. I also think that it is important for children today to have PE in school, even though I remember in middle school, many people dread those PE days. Overall, I think exercising is vital for everyone because it will be beneficial in the long run.

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Digestive System and Immunity

Your digestive system and immune system go hand in hand. They both work together in order for your body to be healthy and to function properly.

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The digestive system is important because it is the breakdown of food into small molecules and nutrients, which are then absorbed into the body for energy and growth. The breakdown of the nutrients will help your immune system to function properly. The immune system consists of a group of cells, tissues, and organs that work together to protect the body from foreign organisms that cause diseases.

If you are not getting the proper nutrients from the food you are consuming, then your digestive system will not function properly and this can lead to poor overall health as well as the health of your immune system. Therefore, your immune system will not be able to fight off the infectious diseases.

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This information is important to know, especially for athletes, because your digestive system is connected to immunity, energy, mood, as well as behavior. It is key that you get the proper nutrients and the proper amount from your food. It will help to boost your immune system to protect your body against diseases.

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Some ways you can support your immune system and stay healthy are:

  1. Drink plenty of water…staying hydrated is vital!
  2. Avoid processed foods and saturated fat
  3. Include a surplus of fiber (fruits, vegetables, grains)
  4. Exercise regularly
  5. Get a sufficient amount of sleep

My view on Nutrition

I think being aware of what you are consuming on a daily basis is important.  For most people, they think just exercising will help them achieve a healthier body, however, I think nutrition plays an important role in that.  Although exercise is definitely important, nutrition is key.

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Photo by Anna Stephneson/EyeEm

 

A proper diet/nutrition is what helps your body and brain function.  I think it is important not to neglect all the parts of the food pyramid and getting the proper amount of each section to help you grow and be stronger.

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Photo by Maximilian Stock Ltd.