Caring for Your Child’s Concussion
In cartoons, when someone gets hit on the head, twinkling stars can be seen circling his head. The scene gets a good laugh and no harm is done. But in real life, a head injury that leads to a concussion can be more serious.
A concussion is a change in the way the brain functions that results from an injury to the head. Today, any injury to the head or neck that causes symptoms like confusion or dizziness that resolve on their own is considered a concussion. A child will not always lose consciousness. Parents need to look for certain symptoms in their injured kids before deciding how to act.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
Some of the immediate signs of a concussion include:
• Appearing dazed
• Responding slowly to questions
• Stumbling when walking
• Difficulty seeing
•Loss of consciousness, even if only for a few seconds
Children may also complain of a headache, dizziness, vomiting or lack of awareness of surroundings hours after the head injury. Days or weeks later, other problems may pop up, such as light-headedness, poor concentration, blurred vision, frequent crying, fatigue, and problems sleeping or with memory.
WHAT TO DO
Parents should contact a hospital or doctor immediately if their child has lost consciousness for any amount of time or if any other symptoms get worse or begin days or weeks later. Otherwise, rest is the best way to care for a mild concussion. Children should not rush back into activities until all symptoms have cleared. A second concussion could lead to brain damage or even death.
Avoiding a head injury is the best way to prevent a concussion. Children should wear helmets for most physical and sports activities. Have your children learn the right way to head a soccer ball. Finally, when going for even a short drive, make sure your kids wear seat belts or sit in car seats.
Columbus Regional Health offers the latest in sports medicine technology and treatments and we are committed to getting you back in the game quickly and safely. To learn more, go to www.crh.org/sports.
For more details about concussions, visit our Concussion Information page developed by the Sports Medicine Program of Columbus Regional Health.
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