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Raising Awareness of the Seriousness of Concussions

| March 19, 2014

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Soccer and softball player Annie Sinclair knows how serious a concussion can be- especially since she’s STILL in the recovery process.

“I get headaches still,” said Sinclair. “And I’m on medicine but they’re trying to get me off of it. But when I get off of it, I get the headaches again.”

Sinclair suffered a non-sports related concussion back in August of 2013. ┬áIt’s been seven long months that have been pretty rough on Annie and on her mother, Heidi, as well.

“It’s extremely horrifying to see them in so much pain, the headaches are unbelievable, the nausea, it’s just scary, very scary,” said Heidi St. Peter. “And you think of what’s going to happen down the road because another hit could put her back to where she was six or seven months ago.”

Which is why a concussion is no joking matter. That’s why a workshop was held in Limestone; to inform and raise awareness of the seriousness of a head injury.

“They’re much more common than people realize and they say as much as 88% of concussions go unrecognized or undiagnosed,” said Dr. Carl Flynn, MD. “It’s because either because the athlete doesn’t realize they have one, or they don’t want to admit they had one because they don’t want to miss anymore playing time.”

So knowing the signs of a concussion is important. Physical symptoms can include vomiting, nausea, headaches, sensitivity to light, and fatigue. If a parent sees these signs after their child hit their head, they should consult a doctor. While there’s no specific treatment, there are things the child can do to make sure their recovery process is smooth and effective.

“Rest their brain, to take the time off, to allow themselves to get better so that when they return to function, they’re back to playing at the top of their game, and they’re not subjecting themselves to a more sinister injury by playing prematurely,” added Flynn.

If not properly diagnosed, the recovery process can not only take much longer, but a re-injury will likely be much worse. Doctors say students shouldn’t return to their academics or sporting events until they’ve been cleared to do so.

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