Health, Sports

Much Talk About Concussions In Sports

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Cartoon image of coaches and a player with a concussion. Image: USA Hockey magazine.There have been a lot of articles in the newspapers about concussions recently. A concussion happens when you hit your head, hard. For instance, if you run into a tree on the playground, or if someone hits you in the head when you’re playing a sport, or if you fall down and hit your head hard on the ground you can get a concussion.

That’s why in many sports, you must wear a helmet. Helmets can often help to prevent a concussion.

Sometimes people go unconscious (black out) when they get a concussion but sometimes they don’t. Research shows that people who have just been hit in the head usually don’t know when they have a concussion.

One hockey player, Bob Probert, recently died due to a heart attack. His family donated Probert’s brain to science so researchers could examine it to see whether he had ever had a concussion. They suspected that he had. Doctors examined his brain tissue and found that Probert had had many concussions over his hockey career and had a brain disease because of it.

Whenever someone gets a hard blow to the head – adult or child – they should be seen by a doctor.

Head injuries, like concussions, are very serious because they involve the brain. When people get more than one concussion, it can be very serious.

When an athlete – a hockey player or a football player, for instance – gets one concussion, he has to be very careful not to get another one.

That’s what happened with hockey star Sidney Crosby this year. The Pittsburgh Penguins captain was accidentally hit in the head and suffered a concussion. He has had to stop playing hockey for now. He has missed many games, including the All-Star game.

Because of Crosby’s injury, the NHL (National Hockey League) is talking about banning “head shots,” so if a player hits another player in the head, he would get a penalty. Many people say a ban would be good because fewer players would get seriously injured. Other people say that hitting is a key part of hockey and the fans like it.

In Toronto a non-contact hockey league for kids was created because many parents didn’t want their children getting bodychecked.

Related Links
Toronto Non-Contact Hockey League (TNCHL)

CURRICULUM CONNECTIONS

Writing/Discussion Prompt
When you play sports or games with your friends, what do you do to make sure that you are safe? Is it more important to have the best equipment or the best rules in order to be safe?

Reading Prompt
What jobs and professions would find today’s article the most appropriate and meaningful (relevant)? How could people in these jobs use the information?

Primary & Junior
Identify a variety of purposes for reading and choose reading materials appropriate for those purposes (OME, Reading: 1.2)

Grammar Feature: Verbs that modify
Sometimes writers use verbs (action words) to help describe what they are trying to say. For example, in today’s article, the word “concussion” is linked with different verbs to create different meanings: “have a concussion,” “get a concussion,” “prevent a concussion,” and “suffered a concussion.”

Write verbs on the blanks to change the meaning of the second word.

____________  scared          ____________  mad
____________  nervous       ____________ afraid