Preventing Concussions in Youth Football
If you’ve ever watched any football on TV, you’ve probably heard the announcers talk about proper tackling form and players “keeping their heads up.” When a football player lowers his head and drives into another player with the crown of his helmet, he significantly increases the chance of injury – to himself and the other player – and now new research is continuing to prove this point.
Risk of Concussion
Researchers from the NCAA Injury Surveillance Program recently released findings showing that football players are more likely to lose consciousness and suffer concussions when hit at the top of the head than when they’re hit from the front, sides or back.
And although more than half of all concussions studied in high school football players occur as a result of a hit to the front of the head, the hits to the top of the head are more likely to result in severe injury.
Athletes suffering concussions typically suffer from dizziness, headaches, confusion and general unsteady and disoriented behavior. These symptoms vary in severity from case to case, but are often worse if a player loses consciousness according to the study.
As the overall awareness of brain injury in football grows, doctors and coaches are working to reduce the risk of concussions and other serious injuries. One easy way to reduce injury is for players to improve tackling form and keep their heads up.
As the player is squaring up to make the tackle, many drop their heads and expose themselves to higher risk, but a simple change to a head-up position can not only improve their tackling ability, but also lessen their risk of serious injury.
For more information about concussion treatments and how Excelsior is helping youth athletes to treat their injuries and reduce further risk, check out our sports concussion page.
Photo Credit: eagle102