Fear of Football: Special Report
"Concussion" has become the buzzword in football over the past few years. We know more than we ever did about the longterm affects of concussions on athletes who play or have played the sport. But we don't know everything, and that's what has put more caution — even fear — into players, coaches, parents and administrators.
We wondered how that fear has changed opinions in the Rock River Valley. We wanted to know if fewer kids are playing football — from junior tackle to high school. How have the coaches, organizations and schools changed the way they guard against and react to injuries? That's the guiding question to our series: "Fear of Football."
Click on one of the thumbnails below to view information from the various perspectives.
Concussions: Need-to-know information
- Call 911 if the person:
- Is vomiting repeatedly
- Has unequal pupils
- Is confused
- Has weakness on one side of the body
- Passes out or is unconscious for more than 1 minute
- Is unable to wake up
- Has a seizure
- If they do not show these symptoms, then:
- Have the person stop activity and rest.
- Apply ice wrapped in a washcloth.
- For pain, take over-the-counter acetaminophen (Tylenol). Aspirin or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) may make bruising worse.
- If possible, stay with the person for 24 hours.
When to call a doctor
- A headache that seems to be getting worse
- Continued vomiting
- Increased drowsiness or dizziness
- Increased confusion
- Heart palpitations, seizures, or loss of consciousness
- Neck pain after a fall
- Symptoms will likely improve in 7 to 10 days. If they last longer, see a doctor.
A traumatic injury to soft tissue, usually the brain, as a result of a violent blow, shaking, or spinning. A brain concussion can cause immediate but temporary impairment of brain functions, such as thinking, vision, equilibrium, and consciousness. After a person has had a concussion, he or she is at increased risk for recurrence. Moreover, after a person has several concussions, less of a blow can cause injury, and the person can require more time to recover.
- Appears to be dazed or stunned
- Is confused about assignment
- Is unsure of game, score or opponent
- Forgets the play
- Moves clumsily
- Answers questions slowly or slurs words
- Loses consciousness
- Shows behavioral or personality changes
- Balance problems
- Double or fuzzy vision
- Sensitivity to light or noise
- Feeling sluggish or groggy