Concussions and Football

Medical Reviewer:

Football players are more likely to sustain a concussion than kids who play other sports. Each year, more than 25,000 kids go to the emergency room with a football-related concussion. No other team sport sends more kids to the emergency room.

Football is a contact sport that requires players to collide with each other. "When you think about athletes that play football, it's a very physical sport," says Margot Putukian, MD, director of athletic medicine services at Princeton University. "They're going out to battle. There are a lot of analogies to wartime combat."

Effects of Concussion

Your brain is cushioned by a layer of fluid inside your skull. A sharp hit can cause your brain to bump the inside of your skull, causing an injury called a concussion. A concussion is more than just a simple bruise to the brain. This type of injury can make your brain stretch and swell. And when brain cells get damaged, chemical changes occur resulting in memory loss, difficulty thinking, mood swings, and changes in personality.

Signs and Symptoms of Concussion

Tell a coach or your parents immediately if you experience: