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Learn the Facts About Concussions at Upcoming Free Community Seminar

Kids, Sports and Concussions—It’s not just about football

It’s a common perception that most high school sports-related concussions happen on the football field. But, if you look more closely, you’ll find your child may be at risk for concussion while playing a number of other sports, according to a 2012 study by the American Journal of Sports Medicine (AJSM). Also, that about one-third of all concussions occur in practices, not during competition.

True, of the 1,936 sports-related concussions reported in the study of 20 different sports played at American high schools between 2008 and 2010, nearly half, or 47.1 percent, were suffered by football players. Another 159—or 8.2 percent—happened in girls soccer, while 5.2 percent occurred in boys wrestling, and 5.5 percent happened in girls basketball.

“It’s important to note that concussions represented more than 13 percent of all high school sports-related injuries reported during the two-year period,” said Michael Goldin, MD, physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist with Washington Township Medical Foundation. “Parents should be aware that there are concussion risks associated with a number of other sports involving both boys and girls, and that concussions can happen to younger children as well.”

If you’d like to learn more about concussions, their signs, symptoms and proper treatment, come to a free community seminar on Tuesday, September 29 at 6 p.m. Dr. Goldin and orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist Russell Nord, MD, will lead the forum entitled “Get a Heads Up on Concussions.” Dr. Nord is medical director of the Washington Sports Medicine program.

The seminar will be held in the Conrad E. Anderson, MD, Auditorium in the Washington West building next to Washington Hospital, 2500 Mowry Avenue in Fremont. For more information or to reserve your spot, go online to and click on events, or call (800) 963-7070.

Know the Signs and Symptoms

“There are several symptoms related to concussions, the most common being headache, dizziness and problems with concentration,” explained Dr. Goldin. “At the seminar, we will talk in more detail about what parents should watch for if they suspect their son or daughter may have sustained a concussion.”

In the AJSM study, high school athletes who had sustained a concussion reported having a headache in more than 94 percent of cases. More than 75 percent reported feeling dizzy, and nearly 55 percent had difficulty concentrating. Other common symptoms were confusion (45 percent), light sensitivity (36 percent), and nausea (31 percent).

What’s the problem?

A major concern of coaches, parents, doctors and other experts is the effect of a concussion—and repeated concussions—on the neurological system and mental processing functions of young athletes.

“Studies have found that eye function and information processing were impaired in athletes with two or more concussions, compared children who had had one or no concussions,” stated Dr. Goldin. “We’ll discuss these findings further at the upcoming seminar.”

The doctors will also talk about concussion treatment options and strategies for allowing a child to begin playing again after a concussion.

Returning to the Sport

Currently, one approach to getting young athletes back in the sport is to have them go through a step-by-step protocol. They play to a pre-defined level of exertion and are only allowed to go to the next level when they don’t experience symptoms.

According to Dr. Goldin some studies have suggested that higher levels of physical exertion may have a negative effect on a child’s ability to mentally process the following: verbal memory, visual memory and reaction time.

“Concussions are an important topic for us to address,” said Dr. Goldin. “Many people know about the symptoms of concussion. They should also understand that, if the symptoms are not managed appropriately, a child’s ability to think could be impaired.

“Managing a child’s concussion takes a team approach involving the student, parents, teachers, athletic trainer, if available, coaches and a physician,” he concluded.

Learn more.

To learn more about Washington Sports Medicine program, go online to and select Services. For more information about Washington Township Medical Foundation, visit