Head injuries are quite common among cricketers – especially among young players. This type of injury is usually the result of a blow to the face from a ball travelling at a high speed. The nose, teeth and jaw can suffer severe fractures, open wounds and bruising in this way.
As in rugby and soccer, concussion can occur. Symptoms include amnesia, memory loss, headache, confusion, poor coordination or vision disturbances. Players who have suffered concussion do not necessarily lose consciousness.
Little can be done to treat a concussion, other than rest. However, it's crucial that a physician examine anyone who might have concussion in order to exclude extradural and intracranial bleeding. Continual reassessment of symptoms with no exercise, basic cardio exercise, net practice, and lastly on- field functional skills is imperative before a player is considered clear and able to perform at maximum capacity, without increasing his/her risk of re-injury.
The prevention of head injuries is the reason for wearing a helmet.
Content reviewed and enhanced by Dr Joe de Beer, a well-known orthopaedic specialist, and T-J Malherbe, a physiotherapist. Both are from Cape Town.