Do You Know the Symptoms of Sports-Related Concussion?

There are an average of 2 million sports-related concussions every year and according to a report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the majority of those injuries occurred playing football.

Bicycling is another cause of concussions in kids and the most common cause is having an impact without the benefit of wearing a helmet. As more and more kids are participating in sports at younger ages, parents need to be alert to the signs of a concussion.

For the curious, a concussion is an injury to the brain typically caused by a blow or strike to the head that can cause a range of symptoms. It is an injury that temporarily interferes with brain function.

The symptoms of a concussion can be impairments to memory, judgment, speech, balance and coordination. There may or may not be a loss of consciousness accompanying the injury. The injured person could have a headache, visual problems and more. If you suspect your child (or anyone) has suffered a blow to the head and is exhibiting any of the above symptoms or irritability, headache, sometimes nausea or vomiting, ringing in the ears, poor concentration or really just seems “off” – get them to a medical professional as quickly as possible for an evaluation. Remember although someone can seem fine immediately after injury, the symptoms of a concussion may not rear its ugly head until a couple of days are the initial injury.

If your child receives multiple concussions, it many be time to pull them from the sports activity as there is preliminary evidence in current studies that indicates that repeated concussions can lead to a predisposition for Alzheimer’s.

Second-impact syndrome is a very dangerous possibility after a concussion. Simply put, if there is a concussion and the brain hasn’t healed from it and a second impact occurs, serious injury or even death can occur as serious brain swelling can occur.

Concussions are treated pretty much that same way intially. Treatment depends on the signs and symptoms the patient is showing. Quiet, bed rest, little to no stimulation or excitement and a cold compress if there’s a bump on the head in very short intervals to help with exterior pain.

You can’t really stop concussions from happening but you can minimize the risk by making sure the coaches your kids train with has appropriate coaching training and make sure your kids are always wearing the proper gear that fits for the sport they are participating in.