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Healthy Families
08/06/2013
Know the signs of sports-related concussions

Know the signs of sports-related concussions

Kids run and play hard but most don't think about the consequences of getting hit hard on the playing field.

They may not think about consequences, but parents need to be actively engaged in what's happening on the field. Adolescent concussions can cause serious long-term injury.

Young athletes are more susceptible because their brains are still in development. It's not possible to prevent all concussions, but the risk can be reduced by wearing proper safety gear, following the rules of the sport and talking to coaches and other parents about the dangers of concussions.

As children return to school and fall sports, the risk of sports related concussion injuries increase. It's important for all parents to know the signs and symptoms.

Symptoms reported by young athlete: Signs observed by parents or guardians:
  • Headache or pressure in head.
  • Nausea or vomiting.
  • Balance problems or dizziness.
  • Double or blurry vision.
  • Sensitivity to light or noise.
  • Feeling sluggish, hazy, foggy or groggy.
  • Concentration or memory problems.
  • Confusion.
  • Just not "feeling right" or "feeling down."
  • Appears dazed or stunned.
  • Is confused about assignment or position.
  • Forgets an instruction.
  • Is unsure of game, score or opponent.
  • Moves clumsily.
  • Answers questions slowly.
  • Loses consciousness (even briefly).
  • Shows mood, behavior or personality changes.
  • Can't recall events prior to hit or fall.
  • Can't recall event after hit or fall.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Contact your health care provider if your child has any of the symptoms listed.

To offer a better understanding of the long-term risks associated with concussions, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has made recommendations for all parents:

  • Children or adolescents who sustain a concussion should always be evaluated by a physician and receive medical clearance before returning to play.
  • After a concussion, all athletes should be restricted from physical activity until they are asymptomatic at rest and with exertion. Physical and cognitive exertion, such as homework, playing video games, using a computer or watching TV may worsen symptoms.
  • Symptoms of a concussion usually resolve in 7 to 10 days, but some athletes may take weeks or months to fully recover.
  • Neuropsychological testing can provide objective data to athletes and their families, but testing is just one step in the complete management of a sport-related concussion.
  • There is no evidence proving the safety or efficacy of any medication in the treatment of a concussion.
  • Retirement from contact sports should be considered for an athlete who has sustained multiple concussions, or who has suffered post-concussive symptoms for more than three months.

If you have questions or concerns about concussions, contact your family doctor. 

 

 

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