• drpettitt

Let's talk concussions

It's #football season and I #love watching our boys show off their skill (makes that 5 am practice through the ENTIRE summer somewhat worth it 😴) My son will be playing for the #miamivandals as a freshman this year ( Thank goodness he is #FAST bc I hate to see him tackled)

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Let's talk #concussions

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🏈 There is no such thing as a "concussion proof helmet" Those teaching this, clearly don't understand concussions.

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🏈 it is a BRAIN INJURY caused by a blow to the head

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🏈 It occurs when the #brain itself hits the inside of the skull. Think about an egg: you can place that egg inside of a padded, encased, protective layer, but if you shake that egg or kick that egg, the yolk inside breaks even tho the shell does not. There's not a helmet that can prevent that! The yolk, or the brain suffers neuronal damage, axonal damage that may be mild and completely resolve OR have lifelong effects

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🏈 There is a 6 step return to play (I will post the link in comments). And if NO other child complies, mine is. Because football is awesome FUN but it is not worth a lifetime of suffering.

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🏈 Symptoms of a concussion can be mild but include: headache, change in vision, slurred speech, blackout, fatigue, lack of coordination, sleepiness, disorientation, nausea, vomiting, ringing ears, confusion, light sensitivity, irritability and depression

~Dr. Michelle Pettitt




After a concussion, an athlete should only return to sports practices with the approval and under the supervision of their health care provider. When available, be sure to also work closely with your team’s certified athletic trainer.

Below are six gradual steps that you, along with a health care provider, should follow to help safely return an athlete to play. Remember, this is a gradual process. These steps should not be completed in one day, but instead over days, weeks, or months.


6-Step Return to Play Progression

It is important for an athlete’s parent(s) and coach(es) to watch for concussion symptoms after each day’s return to play progression activity. An athlete should only move to the next step if they do not have any new symptoms at the current step. If an athlete’s symptoms come back or if he or she gets new symptoms, this is a sign that the athlete is pushing too hard. The athlete should stop these activities and the athlete’s medical provider should be contacted. After more rest and no concussion symptoms, the athlete can start at the previous step.

Step 1: Back to regular activities (such as school) Athlete is back to their regular activities (such as school) and has the green-light from their healthcare provider to begin the return to play process. An athlete’s return to regular activities involves a stepwise process. It starts with a few days of rest (2-3 days) and is followed by light activity (such as short walks) and moderate activity (such as riding a stationary bike) that do not worsen symptoms. You can learn more about the steps to return to regular activities at: https://www.cdc.gov/headsup/basics/concussion_recovery.html.

Step 2: Light aerobic activity Begin with light aerobic exercise only to increase an athlete’s heart rate. This means about 5 to 10 minutes on an exercise bike, walking, or light jogging. No weight lifting at this point.

Step 3: Moderate activity Continue with activities to increase an athlete’s heart rate with body or head movement. This includes moderate jogging, brief running, moderate-intensity stationary biking, moderate-intensity weightlifting (less time and/or less weight from their typical routine).

Step 4: Heavy, non-contact activity  Add heavy non-contact physical activity, such as sprinting/running, high-intensity stationary biking, regular weightlifting routine, non-contact sport-specific drills (in 3 planes of movement).

Step 5: Practice & full contact  Young athlete may return to practice and full contact (if appropriate for the sport) in controlled practice.

Step 6: Competition Young athlete may return to competition.




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  • Dr. Michelle Pettitt
2123 Sunset Point
Miami, AZ 85539
(west of Sonic, below Travelodge)
928.813.2522