School sports and concussions: Identifying symptoms, and taking action

High School Sports

Assistant professor with UR talks about symptoms in teens

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — There is a national discussion on high-impact sports and the impact of concussions on the field. With school sports starting, doctors are cautioning players and adults on the signs and symptoms of concussions.

“Football, rugby, soccer; there’s a good amount of collision with soccer,”
said Katie Rizzone, an assistant professor at the University of Rochester.

Rizzone says the effects of a concussion in a youngster might not be immediately noticed on the playing field. 

“It may not be as obvious to some individuals, then it kind of balls up, especially when they’re in school because that’s a lot of stress on the brain,” she says.

Rizzone says some of the common symptoms they hear about are headaches, dizziness, mood swings, and exhaustion.  

“I think many families, rightfully so, are being very thoughtful about this,” Rizzone said.

Rizzone adds other sports you might not think of have rates of concussions as well, like cheerleading and baseball. High schooler Gracie LaFay was playing softball when her concussion hit. 

“I tripped and I landed on the left side of my head, and I kind of ‘scorpioned’, where my legs went up,” says LaFay. “Two weeks later, my head still hurt. So I was like, ‘we better go see a doctor.'”

LaFay’s family checked her in, and she was given medicine to help remedy the concussion. She’s going to keep playing, but with lessons learned. 

“And definitely just be more aware of my surroundings,” says LaFay.

Rizzone cautions adults to be aware as students start the sporting season.

“The biggest thing to decrease risk is to make sure coaches are aware of signs and symptoms and parents are aware of signs and symptoms,” she said.

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