Did football kill Austin Trenum?

Reply Sat 28 Jul, 2012 07:28 am
This is a very good article about concussions. Anyone who has a kid who plays football (or really, any sport) should read it. I thought I new a bit about concussion but what I knew was pretty dated and very incomplete.


For those of you who don't have time to read the whole thing, here's a summary (emphasis mine):

Observable Signs

• Dazed or stunned appearance.
• Confusion about the game, player's position, score, or opponent.
• Inability to remember instructions.
• Vacant stare or glassy eyes.
• Clumsy movements.
• Answering questions slowly.
• Loss of consciousness, even brief.
• Mood, behavior, or personality changes.
• Inability to recall events before or after the blow.
• Any seizure.

Self-Reported Symptoms

• Headache or pressure in head.
• Nausea or vomiting.
• Balance problems or dizziness.
• Ringing in ears.
• Double or blurry vision; seeing stars or flashing lights.
• Sensitivity to light or noise.
• Feeling sluggish, hazy, foggy, or groggy.
• Problems with concentration, thinking, or memory.
• Depression, sadness, irritability, or anxiety.
• Change in sleep pattern or trouble falling asleep.

After a concussion, athletes need physical and mental rest—no television, video games, music, reading, computer use, school attendance, or homework. Sleep is essential.

A return to regular activities should take place slowly after all signs and symptoms have resolved, under the supervision of a neurologist or other medical professional. Current medical guidelines call for a graduated series of monitored steps, in the following order, with each successive step allowed only if no concussion signs or symptoms manifest themselves:

1. Total rest.
2. Return to school half days.
3. Full return to school.
4. Light exercise (walking, stationary cycling).
5. Non-contact-sport activities and training (running, throwing).
6. Drills without body contact; light weight training.
7. Drills with body contact; heavy weight training.
8. Game play.
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Reply Mon 30 Jul, 2012 07:41 am
Thanks for this info - I've been getting a bit more concerned about this after seeing many reports and of kids getting concussions. There was one where a group of teen girl soccer players were on a 20/20 or 60 minutes sort of show. Almost all of these girls had a concussion at least once. Some were still playing after multiple concussions because they love the game so much - it did appear (although the parents were "sports parents") as if this was the girl's decision.

Scary stuff - I've since looked up the rates of concussions in various sports and was alarmed to see girls' basketball near the top.
Reply Mon 30 Jul, 2012 06:53 pm
It is scary.

I sent a link to the article to Mr. B and he had a chance to read it today (the first day of football practice) and he was completely freaked out. He was very upset by the story.

I told him I was a little worried about this year's coach, who we know socially, who is a "shake it off" kind of guy. Mr. B forwarded the article to him and intends to discuss it to make sure he read it.

I haven't read much about baseball or basketball concussions, I'm going to look up that information because Mo plays both sports. I do hear that soccer is getting a closer look because they do so many head drills.

I'm going to be looking for one of those green light chin straps......
Reply Tue 31 Jul, 2012 07:48 am
Yes soccer is up there because of the "heading" correct term? Some say kids shouldn't do it at all - some say it is because of this parent coaching - the parents don't know the correct way of doing it so it results in more injuries. Some say it is better for the kids to learn the correct way of doing so when they join more competitive leagues that "head" the ball, they will know how to do this correctly without injury.

Now I am glad about my girls not being interested in soccer.

I haven't heard that baseball or softball is near the top - my concern now with softball is the teeth. We have seen/heard of couple of severe mouth injuries in softball. I'd imagine it would be similar with baseball - my younger daughter wears a guard - I think it is more an issue with younger players as their reactions and skill level is so much lower and more play closer while in the in-field. All it takes is one line drive and there go the pretty little girls permanent front teeth.

My daughter's dentist also said when she heard my daughter plays softball - she has to wear a face guard.

Basketball is up there - I believe for some reason girl's basketball is higher. I've personally known one girl who was out of school and of course basketball for months because of this - and she is a big girl. And it only gets more intense as they get older.

I think both parents and coaches need to be aware of the signs.
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Reply Thu 9 Aug, 2012 07:20 am
Just seen the poster from Steve James' newest (and relevant) documentary:
Head Games (2012)
The trailer:

He's a solid documentarian so I'll give the film a chance when it comes out, [USA 21 September 2012 (limited)]
Reply Thu 9 Aug, 2012 07:58 am
Thanks, tsar. I'll be looking for that to come out.
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