What Do You Do If You’re Child Has a Concussion?

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Young girl riding a bike
Parents worry much more about concussions than their children. As parents who are educated on brain injury, we are aware of the long-term effects possible and fret while our children brush off warnings about wearing their helmet while riding their bike. It is the natural cycle. We can only do so much to protect their heads, and eventually your child could possibly suffer a concussion. What do you do then?

William Haller, doctor with Gadsden Orthopedics answered that question during an Alabama panel discussion of youth sports brain injury, and he addressed how parents should handle brain injuries.

The most important step is identifying when something is wrong. Many concussions go undiagnosed for extended periods, and athletes can lose consciousness, develop balance problems, headaches, and suffer from nausea, vomiting, and blurred vision. If you’re child is noticeably acting odd or reporting confusing and headaches, there is a highly chance they suffered a brain injury and don’t realize it. Once the concussion has been diagnosed however, the advice is fairly simple.

  1. Don’t Let Children Return to Playing Immediately – Returning back to action too quickly after a brain injury can be extremely dangerous, as repeated brain injuries are one of the biggest sources of serious complications and long-lasting injuries. The best decision is to keep your child away from sports for 7-10 days, or until your child has been cleared.
  2. How Do You Treat a Concussion? – There are no real ways to directly treat a concussion. The only suggested manner of treating one is rest from any taxing activities. Homework, reading, listening to loud music, and even running can make symptoms worse and delay healing.
  3. How Do You Prevent Concussions? – The best way to prevent brain injuries is wearing proper safety great and following proper technique while playing sports, especially following tackling technique and heading of the ball in soccer.
  4. How Can You Prevent Long-Term Effects? – Obviously the best way to avoid long-term symptoms from brain injuries is “don’t have one to start with,” as Haller put it, but many of us aren’t so lucky. The more important step in preventing long-term effects is to ensure multiple concussions don’t occur within a short period of time. Long-term effects from a single injury are rare, but the more injuries you have and the less time between them, the more severe the symptoms and effects can be. “If you’re having three in one year, that’s way too many.”

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