Health professionals urge full recovery from concussion before returning to sports

Free events starts Saturday
Health professionals urge full recovery from concussion before returning to sports

Maddie Scribner, an 8th grader from Waunakee, described two concussions she suffered within the last year as scary.

“I was holding a girl and she came down from the stunt, and she kneed me in the head right here,” said Scribner about the first concussion. It happened while she was a base in a cheer stunt.

She remembered being immediately dizzy and unable to understand what her coach was saying. It took her 2-3 weeks to fully recover.

Then Scribner suffered her second concussion this past September during volleyball. She and her teammate both went for the ball when Scribner got a head injury.

“I felt like the second one was worse. I felt like I was gonna throw up and I got really dizzy and my head was pounding and it hurt,” recalled Scribner, who is slowly recovering.

Her mother Sarah Phelps, a self-proclaimed worrier, agreed the second concussion was worse.

“It’s a second head injury and you don’t want there to be any permanent long-lasting damage, so it’s scary,” said Phelps.

Phelps said she was more prepared and knew what symptoms to look for and took her daughter to a doctor immediately.

“Injury rates are going up every year,” said Dr. Brian Reeder, a sports medicine physician at Dean Clinic.

Dean Foundation launched Head Smart, a comprehensive campaign to raise awareness about concussion management in young people.

“One of our big concerns is return to play too quickly and what can potentially happen when the brain isn’t ready,” explained Reeder. He said it is critical to fully heal from a concussion before getting back into the game particularly for people whose brains are still developing.

Their website beheadsmart.org offering videos and resources to understanding concussions and the healing process. Head Smart will also host community events with health professionals.

The first event will be Saturday Oct. 11 at the Oregon Community Sports Arena at 11 a.m.