There has been a lot of attention given to the serious consequences of head injuries for professional athletes, but parents should also be aware of the dangers posed to their children. Concussions occur when children get a jolt, bump or blow to the head and are can be very bad for growing brains.
Only about 10% of concussion victims actually get knocked out by the blow. This means that even if your child remains conscious after a blow to the head, it’s possible that they could be suffering from a concussion.
A University of Montreal study showed that
sports-related concussions are especially
dangerous for teens. The study found that teens experience deficits in working memory up to a year after a concussion and teens who experienced a concussion were more susceptible to depression.
Following a concussion, you child may experience one or more of these symptoms
· Sensitivity to light or sound
· Blurry vision
· Trouble sleeping
· Memory loss
· Mood swings or being overly emotional
· Problems concentrating
Most of these symptoms should clear up on their own in a couple of days, but if they get worse you must contact a medical professional immediate. Especially if your child falls asleep and cannot be woken or if they begin to vomit or the severity of their headache increases. In fact, always seek medical attention when your child has suffered a blow to the head.
Speak with your child about the symptoms they can expect and ensure that they keep you up to date on all of the symptoms they are experiencing. It is of the upmost importance that your child be protected from a second concussion during their recovery period.
Recovery periods vary in length, so be sure to ask your medical professional how long to wait before allowing your child to participate in any activities that may result in a second blow to the head. Getting another concussion can lead to longer recovery periods or permanent damage.
Following a concussion, you child will need a lot of downtime not only from physical activity, but also from mental stimulation. Ensure that they get lost of rest and speak with your medical professional about a time period for recovery.
Students that are injured during a sports event or practice must be removed from the game and cannot play for at least 24 hours. They must be examined by a medical professional and receive written clearance before resuming the sport.
Concussions need to be taken very seriously by teachers and parents alike. It’s very important to keep your students informed about the consequences and possibility of permanent damage. Helmets do make a difference, so students should be encouraged to wear a helmet whenever they are participating in any kind of activity that may result in concussion.
picture courtesy of Ed Yourdon with a link: http://www.flickr.com/photos/yourdon/