Shelby’s Story

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 20
Sept. 2012. Web. 16 Dec. 2012.

Shelby was a junior in high school when her first concussion occurred. We hear a lot about concussion in football and in soccer, but in this case it was cheerleading. When Shelby received her first concussion her team was doing a stunt called “double down”.  Her head had collided with her teammates. Shelby had done the right thing and took 5 weeks off of cheerleading and then was cleared to go back. A couple months later after returning Shelby received her second concussion, but this time the effects were more serious. Shelby was faced with sensitivity to light and noise, experienced fainting spells, seizures, anxiety, and depression.
After four weeks off of school Shelby had returned back to school on a reduced schedule and on a 504 Plan. The 504 Plan is an implemented when a student has temporary or permanent disability that affects their performance.
As time went on Shelby worked harder than ever to get back to her normal everyday life and ways. It wasn’t easy her grades dropped and she still struggled multitasking, focusing, and short-term-memory. She went from being an honor student from struggling to pass school. Today Shelby can no longer cheerlead she is still involved coaching and helping out anyway possible. Like Shelby stories like these are heard once too often, but these stories are catching the attention of those needed.  CDC has taken action and partnered with AACCA and every summer to distribute CDC “Heads Up” concussion safety materials to cheer coaches and camps, reaching approximately 450,000 middle, high school all star, and college cheerleaders.
When I hear stories like this it just goes to show how serious concussions can be. Hearing about sports related concussions the sports I automatically think are football and soccer, but after hearing about Shelby’s story reminded me of how serious they are in any sport you play. I have never heard a story this serious with facing the struggle of depression. You must be careful in any sport you play.

Girls Soccer

“Girls Soccer & Concussions (PCS).” YouTube. YouTube, 08 Aug. 2012. Web. 16 Dec. 2012.

Insider Health TV reports on the epidemic of concussions in girl’s soccer. Girl’s soccer is rapidly growing and the amount of concussions is rising with it. According to the American Journal of Sports Medicine, “Girls report nearly twice as many concussions as boys in the sports they play.” With this being said it is reported that girl’s soccer is the second largest amount of all concussions. The dangers of concussions are indeed in the original trauma, but they are also in the post syndrome years after.
One concussion can be dangerous and have lasting effects. With just one concussion you can suffer headaches, dizziness, nausea, visions problems and even depression. The main concern in girl’s soccer is the heading that can lead to concussions. Now heading the ball itself may not cause the concussion, but the head on head and elbow to head collisions could. Heading the ball is a part of the game, but there are safety measures that can be taken. Learning the right way to head a ball can decrease your risk of a concussion drastically.
Being a soccer player I am a little biased when I hear the information. I don’t doubt the researchers and the information they have found out but when it comes to heading the ball I have to disagree. They say there are safety measures that can be taken, but when you’re in a soccer game I can guarantee you aren’t thinking about how you can safely jump up to head the ball. The only thing that goes through my mind is how I can head the ball before the opposing opponent does and if I have to shove her while in the process then I will. There are risks you are going to have to take being a part of any sport you play. Although I have to disagree about heading the ball I do agree with being smart. If I knew I had a concussion I would step out of the game and take a break from playing.  It is not worth risking the damage to my brain.

Youth Football

“Concussion Hazards in Youth Football.” YouTube. YouTube, 17 Jan. 2012. Web. 16 Dec. 2012.

Like many other researchers Dr. Sanjay Gupta is concerned about the growing amount of concussions not only in professional athletes, but youth athletes. A group of CNN reporters followed a high school football team and watched for how concussions affected them. While following them the team lost many players to concussions. The amount of damage done to the players forced them to step out of the game they love for the rest of their lives.
Dr. Sanjay Gupta specially studied the brain and the damage that can be done from concussions. When you get a concussion symptoms that can and probably will occur are headaches, dizziness, and confusion; this all means your brain is not healed. The best thing to do is to rest and take time off from your sport. Although you should rest Dr. Sanjay Gupta has found out many do not. It is said that 40% of football players will keep on playing despite having a concussion. This is almost shocking to most people because you are putting your brain at risk of serious and maybe even permanent damage.
When I heard that 40% of football players keep on playing despite having a concussion I was shocked, yet not surprised. Being an athlete I understand how hard it is for young athletes to step out of the game they love to play. I also understand that your brain and life is also more important than one game of football or whatever sport you may play. The damage you do to your brain while you continue to play your sport can be life changing. Taking a couple weeks off from a sport sounds much better to me than having to stop playing the sport for the rest of my life.