Sports are often a meaningful component of a child’s life from a very young age. Being part of a team can help nurture leadership skills, build confidence, and teach cooperation.

Depending on the sport, though, accidents and hard hits can be a frequent occurrence. Coach and parent guidance, proper equipment, and access to a health care professional all help prevent serious injury, but concussions are an ever-present threat.

Each year, 1.6 to 3.8 million sports-related concussions occur, and approximately half of those hospitalized with a head injury are 24-years-old or younger. The challenge lies in the fact that concussions are often difficult to diagnose, especially because fewer than 10% of occurrences result in loss of consciousness.

The infographic below provides some statistics about this issue, how you can best identify a concussion, and how to take action to protect student athletes.

Update: In addition to return to play criteria listed at the bottom of the graphic, many professionals are now following the Zurich Consensus which was accepted February, 2009.

Click to enlarge:

Student Athletes and Head Trauma
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