How can concussions in sports and recreational activities be prevented?
There’s no guaranteed way to prevent concussions. However, you can decrease your risk by learning proper techniques for your sport or activity, and using the right protective equipment. If you play a sport, following the rules can also reduce your risk of getting injured.
Many sports organizations offer programs to help young athletes learn proper techniques so they can avoid injuries. For example, USA Football—which is the National Football League’s (NFL’s) youth development arm—introduced a program called Heads Up Football®. It teaches players to keep their heads up and to lead with their shoulders when tackling.
When you play a sport, a coach or trainer can tell you what protective equipment you need. For example, a helmet can help reduce the risk of a brain injury. However, it will not completely prevent a concussion. There are no “concussion-proof” helmets.
Your protective equipment should fit properly. It should also be kept in good condition. Use this equipment every time you participate in the activity or sport, even during drills and practices.
Are there any lasting effects of a concussion?
Most people get better after a concussion and do not have any permanent brain damage. However, in some cases, memory problems can last for months after the injury. Some people may have a condition called post-concussion syndrome (PCS). People who have PCS have concussion symptoms that last for months, or even years, after the injury. If you do not get proper treatment after a concussion, you are at greater risk for PCS.
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Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff