With the end of summer comes America’s favorite season: the return of football. Many youngsters will take to the fields ready to tackle and take hits in the name of their favorite sport. Parents are aware of the risks associated with the sport, as youth football injuries have been widely studied and reported on through the years. A new article in the New York Times says more parents should be aware: it’s not just football causing concussions in athletes. Nearly every sport can lead to mild traumatic brain injuries.

Most people believe that concussions only occur when someone loses consciousness. Not so, says the New York Times. 90 percent of concussions do not result in loss of consciousness and victims often only experience a few moments of mental disruptions. It’s easy to shake these symptoms off as “getting your bell rung,” as coaches would describe such injuries in decades past. Now, we know that these injuries are indeed considered to be mild traumatic brain injuries.

Hitting your head isn’t the only way to have a concussion. Simple whiplash can be enough to send the brain colliding into the skull, causing real and often lasting damage.

Experts say that the traditional test for concussions – a five minute test done on the sidelines of athletic fields – can miss up to 40 percent of brain injuries. One test simply does not cover enough ground. Multiple kinds of tests can diagnose closer to 90 percent of concussions. But with the pressure of the game pushing coaches, parents and players alike, student athletes are often sent back onto the field or court without real confirmation of injury – or lack thereof.

Talk with your children’s coaches about your concerns about safety. Ensure that safety equipment is in good condition, and discuss symptoms with your kids. Recognizing signs of concussions can be incredibly helpful in the high-pressure atmosphere of the athletic field.