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The Hidden Injury: Sports Concussion Series

Concussions have recently become a hot-button national sports topic. But what impact do they have in the Sauk Valley? We'll examine the injury, how it's handled and many other related subjects during this five-part series.

The Series

Aug. 4 – A look at local athletes who have overcome concussions

– Hermes hid severity of injuries to get back on field

– Healing part of new relationship

Column: Future foggy as the injury

July 21 – Youth football: How soon is too soon?

Parental consent: Household divided on junior tackle football

– New equipment good, but perfect technique best defense

– Column: Know your coaches; know your child

Web exclusive: Concussion awareness spurs dip in participation

July 7  Athletic trainers: Schools can't afford to not have one

Accardi set standard for treating prep athletes in Sauk Valley

– Open-door policy: Full-time athletic trainers bond with athletes

– Column: Train of thought needs re-training

June 23 – Mythbusting, dispelling misperceptions

– Cheerleading injury brings concussions' universal nature to light

– The Hidden Injury: Concussion misconceptions, myths abound

– Column: The Young and the Reckless

June 9 – What is a concussion?

– The Hidden Injury: Meet Ethan Hafner

– State rules provide foundation for growth in athletes' safety

– Column: All parties involved can benefit from education

Video Playlist:

The Hidden Injury revealed

What is it?

The most common type of traumatic brain injury, caused by a forceful blow to the head or body and often resulting in unconsciousness.

How many occur annually?

An estimated 300,000 are caused by sports alone every year in the U.S.

What are the symptoms?

• Headache
• Blurred vision
• Dizziness and nausea
• Difficulty focusing
• Sleepiness
• Sensitivity to light and noise
• Uncharacteristic emotions or mood swings

What do I do if I suspect a concussion?

• Call the CGH Sports Concussion Program hotline – 888-721-BUMP (2867)

Return to play criteria

From the CGH Sports Concussion Program Playbook

1. Athlete experiences no symptoms of a concussion
2. Physical exam, including balance and strength testing is normal
3. SAC tests scores are normal or equivalent to the pre-injury/preseason score
4. Successful completion of the 5 phases of physical activity:
Phase 1: Light aerobic, low-impact exercise, such as walking
Phase 2: Sport-specific, non-contact activity (i.e. strength training)
Phase 3: Non-contact training drills
Phase 4: Full contact in practice
Phase 5: Return to competition

* – If the athlete experiences symptoms in any phase, they must rest 24 hours and restart the preceding phase.