A Call to Action! A United Front for Safety!
by Karen Lew, MEd., ATC, LAT
March is National Cheerleading Safety Month, National Athletic Training Month, and Brain Injury Awareness Month. March is a great month to review all protocols that improve safety and injury awareness. It is hard to go one day without hearing some type of information on head injuries in sports. Within cheerleading, we are hoping to provide the necessary information and educational pieces that will help reduce head injuries and any confusion among athletes, coaches and administrators about how they should be handled. It is the goal of USA Cheer to make the public aware of the protocols that have been created and implemented within the past two years. Creating a well-educated and united team response to any head injury will provide all participants with the best care possible.
A concussion is a trauma-induced change in mental status, with confusion and amnesia, and with or without a brief loss of consciousness. Concussions can also be referred to as Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI). A concussion occurs when the head hits or is hit by an object, or when the brain is jarred against the skull, with sufficient force to cause temporary loss of function in the higher centers of the brain. The injured person may remain conscious or lose consciousness briefly, and is disoriented for some minutes after the blow. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 300,000 people sustain mild to moderate sports-related brain injuries each year, most of them young men between 16 and 25.
While a concussion usually resolves on its own without lasting effect, it can set the stage for a much more serious condition. […]