Active, healthy kids usually bounce back quickly from most injuries. Childhood concussions, however, are another matter. The consequences of concussions in children can be serious and may result in longer recovery time than they do in adults.
With today’s sports-minded kids, concussions are becoming more common. As a result, parents need to know the symptoms and when it’s time to call the doctor.
A concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury that occurs when a person suffers a bump or jolt to the head or body. Concussions are typically not life threatening. However, it is still a serious condition that can result in both physical and mental symptoms, particularly in developing brains.
Both boys and girls are prone to concussion, especially from sports. Boys playing football have a 75 percent risk of concussion. Girls who play soccer have a 50 percent risk. But concussions can happen in any sport or activity.
As concussions continue to be a growing concern, parents and family members, coaches, and schools need to be aware of the symptoms. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention created a fact sheet on the ABCs of concussions anyone can use to help children get the treatment they need faster. Here is a breakdown of the ABCs:
See a doctor and get a medical evaluation if your child has any of these symptoms or if anything seems unusual or off.
In certain situations, a concussion can require immediate medical attention and warrant a visit to the emergency room or, in rare instances, a call to 911. Seek immediate medical attention for:
Treatment for concussion typically involves physical and cognitive rest. Some athletes may require adaptations for school including more time on tests, breaks and shortened school days. A health professional should work closely with the athlete to assist with school modifications and ensure a safe return to sports/activities.
A few important things you can do to help with your child’s recovery:
With proper treatment, most kids make a full recovery and get back to all of their normal activities. Long-term complications are rare if concussions are treated appropriately. So make it a point to understand the symptoms of a concussion and seek treatment when needed. Remember all children should continue to wear a helmet in contact sports and while biking to prevent skull fractures, but helmets do not prevent concussions.