The tragic death of beloved football player Junior Seau last May brought the issue of concussions back into the headlines. While it isn't clear that his suicide was related to previous sports injuries, former NFL teammate Gary Plummer said Seau had suffered an estimated 1,500 concussions during his 20-year career. Seau's widow agreed to donate his brain to an ongoing study of the effects of these sports injuries on athletes.
But sports concussions aren't a problem limited to professional athletes or even confined to sports like football or boxing. Across the country, attention is being directed to the problem of concussions in youth athletics across a range of sports activities.
Pelham is getting involved this Wednesday night with a presentation for parents, athletes, coaches, trainers and nurses at the Pelham Memorial High School Auditorium, 7 p.m.
"People will see that the more traditional sports that you think about when speaking about concussions are further down on the list than you would think," said Chris Lauretani, president of Symmetry Physical Fitness and Wellness.
In fact, any contact sport can pose a risk for young athletes. In New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has recently signed legislation outlining safe practices for youth which will be discussed.
There will also be several neurologists talking about the physical and emotional impact of the sports injury.
The event is also sponsored by Pelham Booster Club, Pelham Civics Association and the NYU Langone Medical Center Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation Network.
The Centers for Disease Control have identified several concussion symptoms reported by athletes:
• Headache or “pressure” in head
• Nausea or vomiting
• Balance problems or dizziness
• Double or blurry vision
• Sensitivity to light
• Sensitivity to noise
• Feeling sluggish, hazy, foggy, or groggy
• Concentration or memory problems
• Does not “feel right”