Since school sports are starting back up, it’s important to be aware of the dangers of extensive head trauma and concussions. You can help your young athlete prevent lasting damage.
With more and more media coverage surrounding concussions and traumatic brain injuries (TBI’s) due to increasing awareness of professional football players lawsuits against the NFL, safety guidelines are often getting updated to help protect child athletes, now more than ever before. But even with new athletic rules, safety equipment and training for coaches, trainers and teachers, there are many sports that are still considered to be high-risk for concussions. Football and soccer lead the pack, with ice hockey, wrestling not far behind. Below are 4 specific tips and warning signs to help you tell if your child might have a concussion. Please keep in mind, that if your child displays any of the symptoms listed below, they should be seen immediately by a doctor. Visiting an urgent care center can be a great way to get immediate attention, as timing is very important when it comes to concussions. The first 24-48 hours following a head blow are critical.
4 Warning Signs That May Indicate A Concussion
- Excessive Sleep
- Slurred Speech
- Increased Lethargy
If your child has experienced a blow to the head, it’s important to look for these 4 warning signs for up to 48 hours after the injury. If they are occurring, it is important to have them meet with a physician for a comprehensive concussion exam.
Questions A Physician Will Ask During A Concussion Exam
- Has there been a loss of consciousness?
- Where (on the head) the injury took place?
- Has there been nausea or vomiting prior to seeing the doctor?
- Has the athlete experienced either retrograde or anterograde amnesia?
If warranted, a physician will often follow up with a neurological exam like the ImPACT Assessment. This widely used tool helps determine if there has been a concussion that could be causing fatigue, confusion or lethargy as a result of the injury.
What To Do As A Parent or Guardian
As a parent, you will want to follow your physician’s recommendations for rest, re-evaluation, and recovery before returning to daily activities and/or any sports. You will also want to continue observing your child for an increase in any of the symptoms listed above as Warning Signs, and report these to your physician.
The good news is this: the majority of head injuries do not, in fact, result in a concussion. That being said, even if a concussion has been ruled out, it is generally recommended that your athlete takes a few days off before returning to their sport. Eliminating the risk of additional injury could protect them from long-term consequences.
Should you, your child, or a loved one receive a head a blow and are unsure of whether this is a concussion or not, please ere on the side of caution, see your doctor, or come in to our Vernon urgent care center, located at 179 Talcottville Rd, Vernon, to have one of our providers conduct an exam.
We are open 7 days per week, no appointment is necessary. Have questions? Contact us.