DENVER — It was tough to watch Broncos wide receiver Wes Welker suffer a second concussion Sunday.
He is receiving treatment and may be allowed to head back to practice, the team said Monday. However, NFL rules may prevent him from playing in future games until he’s given the okay.
Concussions are a concern for anyone playing sports, whether professional or amateur.
Dr. Comilla Sasson, of the University of Colorado Hospital, said Welker showed common symptoms after he was hit.
“He just laid there for a little longer than you would expect, it took him a little bit longer when he walked off the field,” Sasson said.
A concussion can occur under any circumstance where the brain is suddenly jolted to one side or the other, Sasson said.
“A concussion is really when you’ve got a squishy brain that hits the side of a really hard skull so you end up with a bruise on the brain”, she said.
Researchers are learning more about concussions. A new University of Colorado study shows high school athletes playing at higher altitudes suffer fewer concussions than those closer to sea-level, where certain changes cause the brain to fit more tightly in the skull.
Medical experts say high school sports aren’t as intense as professional football, but that doesn’t make a difference when it comes to concussions.
Parents should look for the signs, which include confusion and dizziness, and keep kids off the field until they are fully recovered.
“If we start trying to take kids back into sports too quickly or our players, you can actually have long term effects like memory loss or they can actually die if they get a second hit,” Sasson said.
Experts say before your child begins playing football, soccer, or any other sport, encourage them to tell you about any unusual headaches or other symptoms that may be putting them at risk.
For more information about the symptoms of a concussion visit WebMD.com.