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Children and Concussions

Concussions

When you hear the term concussion, it brings to mind someone losing consciousness while playing a sport.  However, concussions can happen with any head injury and often without the loss of consciousness.  In addition to being at risk from concussions when playing sports, children get concussions from car or bike accidents, falls, hitting their head or from a whip-lash type injury.

A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury.  Your brain is cushioned by fluid inside your skull. Your brain can move through the fluid and bang against the skull, damaging nerves and tearing blood vessels, causing a concussion. 

Any child who has this kind of jolting fall or head injury should be monitored for a concussion.  An undiagnosed concussion can put a child at risk for brain damage.  Any child who has any symptoms of a concussion should be seen by a doctor right away, even if they say they feel OK.  The following are a list of common concussion symptoms:

·         Loss of consciousness

·         Severe headache

·         Blurred vision

·         Trouble walking/unbalanced

·         Confusion

·         Slurred speech

·         Vomiting

·         Trouble concentrating

·         Irritability

·         Feeling sleepy

Sometimes symptoms of a concussion do not show up for 24 to 72 hours after the injury.  Kids who have concussions usually recover within a week or two without any lasting health problems.  However, if symptoms last longer than that, you should contact your child’s doctor. 

Treatment for a concussion involves physical rest such as taking a break from sports and physical activities.  Mental rest such as doing homework, watching TV, playing computer games and reading should also be avoided.  Avoiding bright lights and loud sounds is also helpful. 

It’s very important to not return to any kind of activity that many cause a child to have a concussion until they are fully healed.  Children who have had a concussion are more susceptible to have concussions in the future.  Concussions are serious injuries but treating them properly and taking safety precautions can help minimize concussions if they do occur.

 

 


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