Program outlines the dangers of concussions

toni.miil69 Blog

Written by Tamara H. Sone
tamara.sone@thedesertsun.com

A concussion can cause more than just blurred vision and a headache. If ignored or not treated, it can cause permanent brain damage.

Helping to educate students, coaches, trainers and parents on the dangers of concussions, Palm Springs High School hosted a concussion awareness program on Tuesday.

Leslie Mabry, special events manager from the Sarah Jane Brain Project, spoke to about 100 people on the dangers of concussions and how to recognize the signs and symptoms.

“Protecting our youth is protecting our future. We are helping people to be able to identify when someone has a concussion and the importance of getting immediate treatment,” Mabry said.

She added that having a headache is not the No. 1 sign of a concussion. Haziness and grogginess are the main complaints from people with a concussion.

Mabry also pointed out that a blow does not have to be directly to the head; a strong blow to the body or neck can cause the head to be thrown into a “whiplash” motion resulting in a concussion.

These types of injuries are not limited to just the playing field as commonly believed.

“You can get a concussion from falling down, car crashes, assaults, and recreational activities like skateboarding or dirt bike riding,” Mabry said.

To prevent concussions and promote sports safety, Palm Springs High’s athletic program shows students a series of films related to safety, school athletic trainer Mike Ventura said.

“Our defense system in preventing injuries at school is good but there is always room for improvement,” Ventura said.

The Sarah Jane Brain Project was founded in October 2007 by Patrick B. Donohue after his daughter experienced a traumatic brain injury resulting from being shaken by her nanny as a baby.

The mission of the project is to create a system of care for children and young adults who are suffering from pediatric acquired brain injuries, PABI, and raise awareness about preventing such traumas.

For more information on the Sarah Jane Brain Project, visit www.thebrainproject.org.