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September 13, 2016
Recognize the Warning Signs of a Concussion
At i9 Sports, we pride ourselves on a fun and educational experience for your child, but more importantly, we value your child’s safety. Our focus on player safety starts with hiring trained officials and educating our volunteer coaches.  One of the most key components of this training and education is recognizing the symptoms of concussions and ensuring safe play is enforced through our “When in Doubt, Sit Out” Concussion Safety Policy.
Even though flag football is a non-contact sport and we don’t allow heading in our soccer leagues, injuries can still happen on the field of play. It’s important to know the warning signs for concussions.
The Mayo Clinic describes a concussion as a “traumatic brain injury that alters the way your brain functions.”  Concussions occur when the brain shifts back and forth against the inner walls of the skull, resulting in the brain swelling and sometimes even bleeding.  Concussions happen after a blow to the head, but can also occur when the upper body is shaken in less forceful situations.   
In most cases, there is not even a loss of consciousness which makes the injury difficult to detect.  Signs of a concussion might not show up right away and can even appear days after an incident.
Coaches and parents should learn some of the common symptoms:
-        Temporary loss of consciousness
-        Nausea or vomiting
-        Confusion or slurred speech
-        Fatigue and excessive sleeping
-        Headache
-        Moodiness, change of personality
-        Hard to concentrate or loss of memory
If there is any question that your child has suffered a concussion, immediately take them out of the game. Have them sit down to rest and make sure they are conscious by asking them a few easy questions.  If they answer the questions correctly and appear to have full balance and awareness, you can bring them home to rest.  Doctors say that avoiding physical and mental exertion and allowing the brain to recover through rest and sleep is the best recovery.
If any of these symptoms worsen, your child should be taken to a doctor right away.  Most people recover from concussions after ample rest and recovery. But without proper treatment, concussions can cause long-term damage to the brain. A doctor can conduct more intensive tests on your child to determine if they have suffered from a concussion.
To learn more information about concussions you can visit the Concussion Legacy Foundation website (http://concussionfoundation.org//).  We have recently partnered with them for Team Up Day this month to help increase awareness of the concussion reporting rates among young athletes and the culture around head injuries. To honor Team Up Day, we’re encouraging all coaches to give a speech to their team emphasizing the importance of looking out for teammates and reporting potential concussions to a team leader. We took the pledge to #TeamUpSpeakUp on Team Up Day. Coaches, parents and athletes can pledge to participate at TeamUpDay.org.
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