DETROIT (WWJ) – In a matter of weeks, Metro Detroit kids head back to school, but thousands of student-athletes are already back on the practice field.

WWJ Health Reporter Sean Lee has more on what being done to protect children from concussions.

Experts estimate there are about 4 million concussions reported by student athletes each year, but another 2 million that are not reported.

That’s why Beaumont Chief of Neurotrauma doctor Dan Michael says it’s important both coaches and parents know what to look for, and for student-athletes to get a baseline screening before concussion occurs.

“It helps us in being able to access when the player is ready to return safely to play, we want to get the players back in the game but we want to make sure they are not at risk when we send them back,” said Michael.

There’s been a considerable shift in the way concussions are assessed and treated now.

“You are not a tough guy by trying to get back in the game too soon,” he stressed, “and really subject yourself to the risk of serious brain injury.”

Football accounts for most concussions among kids in sports, with hockey, soccer, wrestling and basketball rounding out the top 5.

“Recognize a concussion to take the player out of play and get them prompt professional care,” noted Michael.

A 2012 study finds cheerleaders are at risk too, with concussion making up 20 percent of all cheerleading injuries.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention a concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury (TBI) caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head that can change the way your brain normally works. Concussions can also occur from a fall or a blow to the body that causes the head and brain to move quickly back and forth.
Health care professionals may describe a concussion as a “mild” brain injury because concussions are usually not life-threatening. Even so, their effects can be serious.

Find more information on concussions, [here].


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