Dear Future President,
Imagine if your own daughter or son wanted to play a contact sport. He/she is about 15 years old, and just now wanting to get into this sport. One minute they are sitting on the bench and get their name called into the game to play and the next minute you are in an ambulance rushing to the hospital. They were involved in a head/skull accident and got a major concussion all because of an unprotected helmet or bad referee. You, future president need to focus on the safety of sports and to have the caution/to be alert to concussions. Almost 50% of teens of the ages 15-18 get a concussion, according to a FAIR Health Study, therefore this a big problem and needs to be addressed.
A concussion usually occurs by the shaking or movement of the brain inside the skull. Dealing with concussions, one hit can change your entire life. “Every time you get [a concussion] there’s some effect of the brain that doesn’t go away.” says Dr. William Meehan, a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ council. You can define a concussion by a type of a traumatic brain injury, caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head causing the brain to shuffle back and forth. They’re especially common in high-impact sports such as; football, rugby, ice hockey, soccer, basketball, soccer, wrestling, and lacrosse. Are concussions really serious? Why are they a big deal? Many ask this question and here is the best answer. There are multiple symptoms of concussions that you can view from physical well-being. If those symptoms worsen in the days following the injury, you should go to the emergency room where the doctor will likely do a series of tests to assess learning or memory skills, attention span, and problem-solving skills- which indicate how serious it really is. “In the United States concussions for those under 18 could be as high as 1.9 million annually” according to a report by The American Academy of Pediatrics. That number is staggering and underlines the need to help improve safety measures as well as making sure concussions are diagnosed and treated.
Now I am going to spit some concussion-related statistics at you. FAIR Health’s study concluded that “Concussion diagnoses for people under the age of 22 rose 500% from 2010 to ‘14.” That statistic proves how rapid this issue is increasing. With those numbers, how do you not look into, or at least pay attention to it? You, future president can not look at that and think you can blow it off, or it doesn’t matter because that is a rapid increase and only getting worse. According to www.health.usnews.com, “175,000 kids are treated each year for concussions because of sports-related activities.” That is 175,000 children... CHILDREN! Every single one of those children have a chance that they are spending the rest of their lives with a medical mental problem. If that doesn’t scream change, I don’t know what will. The number one question asked in the health department to doctors is “when can I play again” and you see, that is the biggest issue. Most people either believe that since it doesn’t hurt that they’re fine, or that they don’t have a concussion so they go in the next play. “Concussions can take up to 3 days for signs of concussions to become obvious.” (www.kidshealth.org) Therefore, people should not judge if they should go back in by if they’re feeling dizzy or hurting the next day because that is a big miscommunication that people don’t know and is not common sense to know that.
In my final paragraph, I am going to talk about possible solutions. One of the many solutions to resolve this issue of concussions could be just to improve the technology of helmets. You can put more padding in them and do many tests with them to make sure that they are well supported on all sides. Helmet dysfunction is a major problem as to why mental issues occur. You need proper safety on the head most importantly to protect the brain from moving all over the place inside of the skull. Another solution could and should be to require and force all coaches to be aware of symptoms they know if they should take out that kid or put them back in the game. More padded helmets, mouth guards, catcher protectors, and soccer headband tests are currently being produced and made. If you hurt your head playing organized sports, a coach or an athletic trainer may examine you right after your injury. This is known as sideline testing. “More medical trainers are needed on the sidelines”, Meehan says. A study published in the Journal of Athletic Training this year found that “70 percent of public secondary schools in the U.S. had access to athletic training services at games or practices, but only 37 percent had full time trainers.” On that note, we need to force more support on the trainers to make it more safe and fun for the players. You, future president need to focus on the safety of yours, mine, and our country. With the given information I truly believe that we can make change. You need to take this letter, and these statistics and go do something about it to make American sports safe again.