Friday night lights are back on, and both players and fans are ready for some football. If your child is on the team, however, it is important to understand the risks involved. Recently, the media has focused significant attention on the inherent risk of concussion that football players face. Parents, as well as coaches and trainers, must, therefore, arm themselves with the facts about children and concussions.
Concussions and Symptoms (or Lack Thereof)Concussions are often difficult to identify since the symptoms can vary significantly from one victim to another. In some cases, few to no outward symptoms of a concussion will appear. That said, classic signs of a concussion include:
- Light sensitivity
- Mood swings
- Balance issues
Athlete SafetyYour young athlete’s safety is obviously your top concern, so talk to the coaches, school officials, and training staff to ensure they are well-educated about football’s inherent concussive dangers and that they are focused on complying with the appropriate regulations and guidelines regarding athlete safety. Your child’s health could depend on it.
Virginia Law and Return to PlayVirginia takes student safety very seriously, and has a law in place that mandates specific requirements regarding suspected concussions:
- If a student-athlete is suspected of having sustained a concussion, that student will immediately be removed from play.
- That student will not return to play that same day.
- That student will not return to play until after evaluation by an appropriate healthcare provider issues written clearance to return to play.