Athletes with Concussions

January 4, 2011
By Kirstyn SILVER, Nashotah, Wisconsin
Kirstyn SILVER, Nashotah, Wisconsin
8 articles 0 photos 0 comments

When a football player comes to the sidelines vomiting and not knowing where he is, it is not a good thing. Some people, however, believe it is okay to send these players back on the field. Tough football players think they are invincible and conscious enough to play. But, playing that one game might ruin the rest of your career.
Should these high-level athletes be allowed to play without definite and adequate clearance from a qualified medical doctor? Josh Levin contemplates this in his article, “Get Your Head Out of the Game: How should Florida respond to Tim Tebow’s concussive brain injury?”
People don’t realize the intensity of a concussion; the long term effects can be devastating. A concussion will cause many problems: disorientation, unconsciousness, headaches, and could even affect the brain stem, which controls basic functions of the human body. According to Levin, “the NFL also released the results of a league-commissioned study showing that former players between the ages of 30 and 49 suffer memory disorders at 19 times the normal rate.”
NFL players set bad examples for other high school and college football players by ignoring their doctors’ warnings and going out to play, even though they aren’t supposed to. Younger athletes look up to the NFL players, and if they see them playing without clearance, they will think it is okay for them to do the same. NFL players need to be role models for these younger athletes by doing what is right and beneficial.
Football is not the safest sport. Yes, the players wear helmets and pads, but they don’t protect them from becoming injured. Each player diagnosed with a concussion should sit out for at least a game. Since there is no cure for a concussion, it is crucial players rest to ensure they don’t do any more damage. Some players might think image is important, but their future in the sport is the most important. Playing while not cleared can only make matters worse, and potentially could put those players at risk of second-impact syndrome, which could end their career. According to the article, “But the truth is that we don’t know how to ensure – or if there’s a way to ensure – that a football player with a history of concussions won’t have another one, or won’t suffer from dementia when he’s 45.”
Although concussions are relatively common, they should not be taken lightly. Any athlete who has symptoms or a possible concussion should immediately take precaution. Unless that athlete is cleared by a qualified medical doctor, they shouldn’t participate in their specific sport until eligible by receiving clearance by a medical doctor, no matter what that makes the public think.

The author's comments:
As a potential future athletic trainer, I take particular interest in athletes with injuries. My desired field to work with in the future would be football players; therefore, I chose to write about football players with concussions.

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