Concussions in Modern Sports (and How to Stop Them)

06/16/2016 02:44 pm ET

When in high school, I played soccer and had my share of fun. Unfortunately, I also had my share of injuries and among them was multiple concussions. In one instance, a goaltender hit my temple with his forehead. In another instance, I was standing in a "wall" with other teammates to prevent a free kick from going in.

Both situations left me stunned, disoriented, and gave me headaches for days, but I didn't think much of it when everything was said and done. Today, I and many other people are taking brain injuries more seriously.

What Happens for Brain Injuries in Sports?

You know that feeling you get after drinking too much alcohol and feeling your brain is fuzzy? The chemicals that are created with alcohol are similar to the chemicals created with any kind of trauma - including injuries.

The brain operates predominantly through chemical reactions and a brain injury produces the same type of chemicals whether it is trauma from substance abuse, lack of sleep, or sports. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, concussions in sports is an ever growing problem amongst high school aged kids.

How to Prevent Brain Injuries

There are plenty of ways that you can prevent brain injuries to either your children or others. Use some of these methods and precautions to keep yourself safe.

Proper equipment - a friend played semi-professional hockey in Switzerland. He only had one concussion during his time even though hockey is such a violent sport. The ironic thing was, he managed to get hurt because he couldn't properly fit his hockey skates. In the pantheon of sports concussions, this was probably the least romantic issue.

Body awareness - another way to prevent injuries to the brain is to have better body awareness. Many children are unable to protect themselves simply because they fall in the wrong way and do not have the self-understanding to protect themselves.

Information - the more informed you or your child are, the better off you will be. Did you know that heading a soccer ball creates damage to brain cells no matter how light? Accumulated heading of a soccer ball can thus create great damage to the brain. Learn as much as you can about the risks of any sport before engaging in it.

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