Empathize: Tiffany and I researched youth concussions, and found that an outstanding number of athletes sustain concussions in contact sports. While there are protective measures that are taken, there is still a large percentage of athletes who are affected by concussions. Concussions can leave permanent damage to one’s brain, especially a young brain that is still growing and developing. While many states have laws set in place to make sure an athlete does not return to a sports before fully healing, this does not always take place.
Define: Concussions are identified when one is confused, dazed, answers questions slowly, loses consciousness, or experiences a personality change. Athletes have reported feelings of nausea, a headache, and balance issues after being hit. To recover from a concussion, one must rest and let the brain heal naturally. Concussions can be prevented by avoiding contact activities that might jolt the head and wearing protective gear.
Ideate: After discussing the topic, Tiffany and I believed that being able to educate athletes on the basics of concussions and safety techniques was one of the most important aspects when it comes to preventing concussions. We wanted to create a medium that would allow us to teach athletes about what a concussions is, how it is caused, what the symptoms are, protocol that proceeds being diagnosed, how they are treated and most importantly how to prevent them. We also wanted to create a quiz that would outline the basic information being taught to the athletes to test if they learned anything new about concussions.
Prototype: We created a YouTube video that reviews all the basics of concussions and how they can affect athletes. We also constructed a quiz that tested everything mentioned in the video.
Test: We had a 10 athletes from Notre Dame take the quiz. We then showed them the YouTube video. After watching the informative video, we had the athletes take the same quiz a second time. Initially, the test results were low. The athletes did not know a lot about the very basics of what a concussion really is and what the proper safety techniques are. After watching the video, the quiz scores went up by almost 100%. With just a short video giving the athletes the basic information and signs to look out for concerning concussions, we were able to greatly enhance their knowledge of concussions.
It was really interesting learning about concussions in youth sports. Concussions can greatly affect youth athletes, and while there are safety improvements, there is still a lot of work to do. Youth athletes are not fully developed and need to take preventive measures to protect their bodies from potentially permanent damage.