(WKBN) – Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa will not play this week. He remains under treatment for a concussion. High school sports have steps in place when a student-athlete takes a hit to the head, and it’s a team effort.
Parents of many student-athletes are talking about Tua’s situation. They could be frightened, seeing him on the ground, suffering from a concussion. High school sports are physical, too. A child can suffer a concussion even in a car crash.
“As long as it’s managed correctly early on, it’s not as serious. But if we don’t address it and keep an eye on the patient, make sure they’re recovering okay, it can lead to long-term problems,” said Dr. Stephanie Kopey.
Kopey is the director of the impact clinic for concussion at Mercy Health. She says about 5% of people who have a concussion will go on to have long-term problems. She feels it’s vital to immediately recognize the signs and symptoms of a concussion. Coaches and parents are briefed on the rules.
Athletes who may have a concussion must be seen by a medical professional before they’re allowed back to play. In Ohio, that is either a physician or an athletic trainer.
“Knowing that there’s a reason if someone takes them out of play, and it’s always in the best interest of the student or child to be safer rather than sorry later,” Kopey said.
Forming brains need time to heal. That means keeping athletes out of practice and games until that happens.
“Sports are fun and awesome to watch your children play, but it’s good to understand how to keep them safe, too,” Kopey said.
The raised awareness from seeing what’s happening in the NFL helps athletes of all ages. Kopey says if someone is having symptoms from a concussion three months, six months or longer after it happened, those could lead to long-term problems.