Let’s Get Serious About Concussions

School is back in session and for those of you who have children of any age that play sports, you've probably started receiving the Concussion Protocol & Training email messages and voicemail notifications from your school district.  In most cities and towns, this training is mandatory before any child can participate in school activities.

Did You Know?

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 4 million people get concussions each year. Children may be especially prone to concussion while participating in sporting activities. Concussions are a traumatic brain injury and can have a long-term impact on the health of your child. Concussions are taken much more seriously today than they ever were even 20 years ago.  Below is basic information that you can use in addition to your child's school required training sessions for preventing and treating concussions.

What To Look For.

If your child exhibits any of these symptoms, he or she should be taken to an emergency room:

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Severe headache, including a headache that gets worse
  • Blurred vision
  • Confusion or slurred speech
  • Unresponsiveness or difficulty waking up

Other Symptoms Warranting A Call To Your Doctor

  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Trouble concentrating

Many concussions don’t require hospitalization.  Always consult with a medical professional if you think your child may have sustained a concussion.  Always follow post concussion recommendations as directed by a doctor, a school nurse,a team coach or the school's athletic trainer.  Once you are able to take your child home following a concussion exam, it’s important to know how to monitor your child for additional and potentially problematic symptoms.

  • For the first 72 hours after a concussion monitor his or her symptoms.
  • While symptoms are still present, be sure that your child doesn’t engage in physical or mental activity that could worsen his or her symptoms. This includes sports, schoolwork, electronic devices or anything else besides basic activities involved in day-to-day life.
  • If your child has a headache that worsens quickly, or he or she has lingering symptoms such as confusion or continued vomiting, call your doctor immediately.

Never assume that your child is OK if they are exhibiting any of the above symptoms following any sport related injury.  Even if they seem OK it's very possible that things aren't hunky dory. Untreated problems can become much bigger problems.