Health Watch — Head Injuries: Sports Injuries

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications  and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.

This week on Health Watch, we’ve been talking about treating serious head injuries. These can have lifelong effects, especially in children. While doctors are finding new, more effective ways to treat brain injuries, it’s best to avoid them in the first place.

One area where children may be at risk is in sports. Wearing helmets is a good way to help prevent injuries, but common sense is also important. Dr. Ramon Diaz-Arrastia, a neurologist at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says it’s dangerous to return to the game after a blow to the head, even with a helmet. That first blow leaves the brain more vulnerable to further injury. Even a mild second blow can cause serious damage. The risk of damage increases after the initial impact to the head. This is something that doctors and athletic trainers are becoming more aware of, and athletes need to know the risks of getting back in the game.

Visit to learn more about
UT Southwestern’s clinical services in neurosciences.


July 2008

Health Watch is heard Monday through Friday nationwide on ABC Satellite Radio. Call your local radio station and ask if they carry the program.