Sports-related concussion is an ongoing epidemic in the sports industry. In any given year, about 3.8 million concussions occur in the U.S. due to a sports injury. Unfortunately, almost half of these concussions go unreported. When concussions are not detected, they can manifest into a long-term traumatic brain injury. According to the CDC , traumatic brain injuries are a leading cause of death and disability among young people in the U.S.
 
In recognition of National Concussion Awareness Day, we summarized our top 5 safety tips to avoid concussions in sports:

1. Awareness

Like sports, preventing a concussion requires a team effort by everyone. Concussions are silent killers, so it’s important for everyone to recognize the symptoms and understand their role in concussion management. If you are an athlete, referee, coach, family member or health practitioner, check out Complete Concussion Management to learn more about concussions. 

2. Helmet Protection

Proper helmet fitting is critical for the prevention of severe traumatic brain injuries. Helmets protect athletes by decentralizing a force of impact across the headgear. Ensure that you are wearing a NOCSAE certified helmet for the sport you are playing.

3. Neck Exercises and Training

Growing bodies of research recommend neck strengthening exercises as a preventative concussion measure. Experts encourage pre-seasonal neck muscular training to help athletes resist strong head impacts. Neck extension and flexion movements are excellent neck exercises to do as a part of your regular workout. Check out Stack for more neck strengthening exercises.

4.Brain Resilience Training

Vision and balance training play a vital role in maintaining brain health. In fact, studies show that vision training is one of the most viable ways to prevent concussions because it helps athletes react faster to moving objects. Apps like myNeuroFlex by Saccade Analytics, allows users to build brain resilience by playing games that enhance their vision and balance using virtual reality. To learn more about myNeuroFlex, sign up today and be one of the first receive access!

5. Promote Safe Sports Culture

In any sport, encourage safe play. Support your teammates by letting them know that safety is a priority for the team. This will encourage players to speak up about any injuries without feeling pressured. In addition, know the rules of any sport before playing to avoid and call out any violations.  Most importantly, make sure you seek medical attention immediately if you experience a head injury.