The concussion suffered by University of Florida quarterback Tim Tebow in Saturday’s game against Kentucky certainly has the sports world talking about the impact of the injury on Florida’s season, but to brain injury lawyers like me, the real issue should be proper education of medical personnel involved in high school and collegiate athletics. Thankfully more trainers on the gridiron sidelines are following the American Academy of Neurology guidelines on grading of concussions: Grade 1 concussion is defined as the athlete having transient confusion with no loss of consciousness. A Grade 2 concussion is when those symptoms, including mental confusion, lasts longer than 15 minutes, and a Grade 3 concussion is when there is any loss of consciousness, even if it is for just seconds. A player with a Grade 1 concussion can return to play the same day, while a Grade 3 concussion may require a player to be out for a full week. An important consideration is also whether a player has suffered multiple concussions.
Parents, please make sure your child’s football, lacrosse and soccer coaches and medical staff are properly educated on recognizing and treating concussions. Do not assume such personnel have been properly trained. While many are, some have not received the requisite training to properly evaluate head injuries, and tend to follow the old school thought that a player “just got his bell rung, he’ll be okay”. Nothing is further from the truth. Take it seriously, and protect your child. For more information regarding brain injury, concussion, and proper head injury evaluation in children, please click on the following link: http://brainline.org/content/2008/08/concussions.html?gclid=CP2j3JerlJ0CFcZM5Qod9zPN7Q