Community Gains Awareness Of Youth Sports Concussion Severity

All Children’s Specialty Care of Brandon’s certified athletic trainer Nick Suydam (left) and Dr. of physical therapy Jared Reites(right) both agree that youth concussions are serious and need to detected early.

One of the most serious injuries for an athlete to have is a concussion. The severity of a concussion grows exponentially when it occurs to a child 18 years old and under. With growing awareness, technology and resources; members of the community are becoming more aware of the symptoms and effects of concussions.
All Children’s Specialty Care of Brandon is realizing the severity of youth concussions, and is providing a service that can help in helping diagnose concussions and limit further injuries to the brain.
“Concussions are very prevalent in youth sports and many go unnoticed,” said All Children’s Specialty Care of Brandon certified athletic trainer Nick Suydam. “The brains of children under the age of 18 are still growing and the risk of second impact syndrome is been known to be deadly in some cases.” Second impact syndrome is a blow to the head of a person who has not fully recovered from an earlier concussion. This second injury can be detrimental to a person and is something that can be avoided with proper care.
All Children’s is providing ImPACT testing, a neuro-cognitive assessment tool that is computer test, and is used by professionals to determine whether a player should return to playing their sport.  An athlete should be retested periodically or 24 to 48 hours after a head injury.
“It is important for an athlete to wear their headgear properly,” said Suydam. “If an athlete has any question that they have a concussion they should see a doctor and wait to return to their sport until all symptoms are gone.”  Symptoms of a concussion include: headaches, dizziness, poor balance, blurred vision, nausea, disorientation and mores.
Along with All Children’s, local sports league i9 Sports has raised awareness of concussions in youth sports. It has launched a “Stop Youth Concussions Crusade.”  i9 Sports strives to educate and make both parents and children aware of the severity of youth concussions. i9 Sports has added a Concussions Safety Information page to their online registration process that parents must read and sign.
“We want to increase awareness and decrease risk,” said i9 Sports Hillsborough County Program Director Chris Dietrich.
According to Brain Injury Association of America, an estimated 1.6-3.8 million sports and recreation related concussions occur in the U.S. each year. Of the 1.4 million traumatic brain injuries sustained by children and adults in the U.S. each year, at least 75 percent are mild and/or concussions.
 Concussions will always be a part of sports. The things that we can do is limit trauma by wearing the right protective gear, notice signs of trauma, and rest players who have not fully recovered from concussion symptoms. 
For more information about All Children’s Specialty Care of Brandon, located at 885 Parsons Ave. S., or the ImPACT Test, call 436-5900 or visit www.impacttest.com.
For more information about i9 Sports, call 813-805-8742 or visit www.i9sports.com.