An image shows how a concussion affects your brain.

Brendan Riccuci, Writer

19.5% of people have been concussed at least once in their lifetime. Concussions are not a  joke, and if not taken seriously, can cause serious brain damage, and in some cases, death. 


The main cause of concussions are sports. Two out of every ten high school students who play contact sports, such as football or hockey,will suffer a concussion per year. Concussions happen when an athlete takes a serious injury to the head, resulting in a bruise on the brain.


The main symptoms of a concussion include headaches, nausea, dizziness, and confusion. Not all of these symptoms may occur if the athlete is concussed; they may only feel one of the symptoms. 


Junior Will Boughn was asked what symptoms he felt when he was concussed. “I felt it all: headache, dizzy, confused, nausea; it was pure hell. [After] each concussion I’ve had, I feel like the symptoms got worse and worse each time.  


A common question about concussions is how long it takes to recover. According to, in most cases it takes around 7-10 days to recover from a concussion. That  isn’t always the case though, and if a doctor’s requirements aren’t followed, it will most likely take longer. One example of this is Senior Shemaiah Sabvute from Oakdale’s own football team. “It took me around two weeks to recover and get back out on the football field.” he explained on his sport-induced concussion.


Everyone is different when it comes to how long it takes them to recover from a concussion, it’s very unsafe to rush back into sports or physical activities, even if the symptoms have been gone for a few days. 


To prevent concussions, or at least lower the risk of them, always wear an approved helmet when playing contact sports, biking, or riding a motorcycle. It can even be as simple as wearing a seatbelt in the car – a seatbelt can keep your head (and the rest of your body) from flying through the windshield if a wreck were to ever occur. 


Concussions are very serious and need to be taken more seriously. In football, brain injuries account for 65% to 95% of all fatalities. Any athlete who suffers a concussion needs to make sure to follow their doctor’s orders very seriously to recover fully as quickly as possible. Remember: concussions can kill.