Concussion: Are sports really safe?

Kris Gilbertson, reporter

These past few weeks have been like any other, but something that may have caught people’s attention was the morning announcements. The girls and boys soccer team are taking an impact concussion test this week. What could that possibly mean?

Simply put, a concussion occurs when a person’s head is aggressively shaken or receives a forceful blow. The brain moves rapidly bouncing off the skull. This jolt causes an alteration in the brain’s chemical make-up. In extreme cases, it may damage brain cells. One concussion may not be harmful, but several can lead to permanent side effects. 

Here at Orcutt Academy Chelsea Davis, the Athletic Trainer, takes every available precaution to keep players safe. First off, people in sports that can leave them susceptible to concussions take an online impact test that measures the player’s mental capacity before playing that season. If the player receives an impact to their head or it is just time to retest, the student takes the impact test again. The scores are compared to see if the player may have a concussion. To be officially diagnosed, players have to go to an MD and be signed off as good to go or to confirm a concussion. 

A mild concussion usually takes around three months to fully heal but individual recovery times vary. When a player stops feeling symptoms, they go back to the doctor to get cleared. Assuming all goes well there, they can start their seven day protocol with Ms. Davis. The protocol consists of extensive cardio exercises that gradually raise the player’s heart rate. If all goes well, they can get back on the field or court and keep playing.

Yearly, several players will get concussions from sports such as football, soccer, and basketball here at OA. Gavin Naylor, received a concussion in 2018 during the boys basketball season, “It was my first time I got a concussion so it was a little scary. Ms. Davis helped me through the whole thing. It turned out to have a good outcome.” Josiah DeBruno was playing as Orcutt Academy’s wide receiver and got a concussion one night. “Ms. Davis is like the cool aunt in the family. I learned a lot of new things about my head from the ordeal,” was what he had to say about the experience.

Whatever sport you play, be sure to stay informed. Be mindful on the field Spartans or you might just lose your head!