by MOIRA GARRY '18
At Saint Ursula Academy, 12 varsity sports are offered and 6 of them take place during fall, and with all sports there is a risk of injury. One of the most common injuries that Kayla Taske, Saint Ursula Academy’s Athletic Trainer, sees is concussions. Since concussions are not just limited to sports, Ms. Porter has the Trihealth Concussion Crew come into her health class every term to help SUA students to learn about the brain and use their mind. Concussions are a serious injury that could cause many issues later on in life if proper procedures are not taken.
With a concussion, the most common symptoms are headaches, sensitivity to light, dizziness and vomiting along with more that usually only occur with severe concussions. Like a sprained ankle would have to be healed, the brain has to be healed the same way, by resting it. When someone gets a concussion, the brain has to rest and to do that, they are not allowed to go to school or do any work, they are not allowed to be on their phone, computer or watching TV, and they cannot even read, so all that can happen for the first 24 hours is sit in a dark room.
Kayla adds two stories of when two football players refused to take the proper precautions after having a concussion, and eventually second impact syndrome. She explained that both of these players got hit and had symptoms of a concussion but did not tell anyone, so when they got hit again, they had permanent damage to their brain. The consequences that these kids had to face were vision impairment, constant migraines, and dizziness. Also they may not ever be able to drive or really live on their own.
Out of all sports, Kayla said that football probably has the highest concussion rate, while out of the sports at SUA, soccer has the highest rate. There is no solid way to prevent concussions, but football players are taught how to tackle specifically to avoid the injury, and in soccer, head balls should be limited. Concussion headbands allegedly reduce concussion risk, but there is currently not much science behind that option.
Many SUA student athletes have gotten concussions either during practice or games. Sarah Fagan ‘18, who got one in a lacrosse game against Loveland, said “Even though I dislike running, I missed it, and I wanted to do everything that I couldn’t do anymore”. Since she experienced a very mild concussion, the only symptom Sarah had was a headache, while Chloe Brueggeman ‘18 experienced week-long dizziness and headaches as a result of a major concussion.
One precaution that Chloe took was to get a concussion headband, which was supposed lessen the severity of her symptoms. It is important to take the proper procedure to heal your concussion because when Sydney Wagner '18 continued to do school work and be on her phone, it caused her to have a longer recovery period.