Skiing, snowboarding, basketball, swimming, football, cheerleading, bicycling, roller-blading, and even jumping on the bed are among the many activities youth engage in where there is a risk of brain injury.
Concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury caused by a bump, blow or jolt to the head that can change the way the brain normally works. Concussions can also occur from a blow to the body that causes the head to move rapidly back and forth.
Even a “ding,” “getting your bell rung,” or what seems to be a mild bump or blow to the head can be serious. Concussions can occur in any sport or recreation activity. All coaches, parents and students should know the signs and symptoms and what to do if a concussion occurs.
Symptoms of a concussion may include:
Dizziness or balance problems
Sensitivity to light or noise
Trouble concentrating or remembering
Parents and caregivers may notice additional concussion symptoms:
Appears dazed or stunned
Shows behavior or personality changes
Is unsure of game, score or opponent
Can’t recall events before or after hit or fall
When a concussion is suspected, seek medical attention right away. A health care provider will be able to decide how serious the concussion is and when it is safe to return to sports and recreation activities. Children who return to sports and activities too soon risk a greater chance or having a second concussion. Second or later concussions can cause permanent brain damage.
To prevent a concussion, ensure youth follow the rules, whether they’re the rules of the game or the rules of the road. Make sure children wear the right protective equipment for their activity such as helmet, padding, eye and mouth guards or shin guards. Parents should learn the signs and symptoms of a concussion, and shouldn’t hesitate to keep their child out of a sports game or activity after a concussion. Remind children that it’s better to miss a game or two than the whole season.
Concussion recovery takes time, and varies significantly person to person. While some students may be able to return to academic work and physical activity after a short time, it may take others weeks or months. Parents and caregivers of children who have had a concussion can help them recover by taking
Adapted from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention www.cdc.gov/injury
For more information, contact the school nurse.