In the past few years, it has become increasingly evident that concussions can cause serious long-term neurological damage if not properly treated. Athletes in high-impact contact sports are particularly at risk, with one in 10 suffering a concussion during any sports season.
Limiting full-contact practice during the football season gets us one step closer to making high-impact sports safer for our children. According to The Houston Chronicle, an amendment calling for no more than 90 minutes of full-contact practice per player per week was passed Tuesday by the University Interscholastic League’s Legislative Council. It now awaits approval by the commissioner of education. This amendment follows the NFL’s latest collective bargaining agreement, which also limited contact practices.
Summer Ott, Psy.D., director of the Memorial Hermann Ironman Sports Medicine Institute Concussion Program, says “while this is a step in the right direction, we still have a long way to go as it doesn’t address proper tackling techniques or limiting upright blocking drills where we tend to see the most concussive injuries during practice. Additionally, parents must pay particular attention to their youth sports athletes as these leagues are not regulated in the same way UIL sports are.”
Athletes who experience any of the signs and symptoms of a concussion after a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or body should be kept out of play for the remainder of the day and be seen by a health care professional experienced in evaluating concussions. Your health care provider can then refer you to a primary care sports medicine physician, neuropsychologist, neurologist, or other specialist in rehabilitation. For more information, visit http://ironman.memorialhermann.org/conditions-treatments/concussion-treatment-in-houston/