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Head Bangers

Contact sports put men at high risk of concussion.
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Making the Grade

The first step is to determine the "grade" of the head injury. According to Rosenberg, the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) defines three grades of concussions. A grade-one concussion, commonly referred to as "getting your bell rung," doesn't result in a loss of consciousness but does involve the haziness and disorientation normally associated with head injuries. A grade-two concussion has similar symptoms but lasts beyond 15 minutes. A grade-three concussion is determined by a loss of consciousness.

Rosenberg explains that an athlete can return to competition on the day of a grade-one concussion, while a grade-two concussion can keep a player out of play for up to two weeks. It usually takes about a month to fully recover from a grade-three concussion.

Injury prevention for athletes involves wearing a helmet, especially in fast-paced or contact sports like skiing, biking, or hockey. The Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute estimates that helmets can reduce the risk of serious injury by up to 85% in all age groups.

Finally, Dr. Rosenberg probably has the best recommendation for avoiding accidental head injuries: common sense.

"Maybe instead of climbing on a chair, he [Mr. Crasta] might consider using a broom the next time he wants to kill a spider," Rosenberg said.

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