what is a concussion?

  • A concussion occurs when there is a physical blow to the body or head causing an injury to your brain.
  • Shortly after a concussion, the athlete may experience cognitive, physical, and emotional symptoms.

How common are concussions in sports?

  • A concussion occurs when there is a physical blow to the body or head causing an injury to your brain.
  • Shortly after a concussion, the athlete may experience cognitive, physical, and emotional symptoms.
  • concussion signs & symptoms:

    • Appears dazed or confused
    • Answers questions slowly
    • Personality/behavior change
    • Forgets plays prior to hit and/or after hit
    • Retrograde amnesia (not clearly recalling events after injury)
    • Loss of consciousness
    • Persistent headaches
    • Nausea and/or vomiting
    • Balance difficulties
    • Double or blurry vision
    • Sensitivity to light and/or sounds
    • Feeling sluggish or foggy
    • Changes in sleep pattern
    • Memory and/or attention problems

    what to do if a child sustains a concussion?

    • After a suspected concussion, a physician should always evaluate your child.
    • Depending on the severity of your child’s injury and symptoms, your child’s physician may order neuroimaging procedures (i.e., MRI or CT Scan).
    • It is very important to rest from physical activity while one is recovering from a concussion; however, your child should try to return to school as soon as possible, with a “safety net” of accommodations and modifications in place.
      For example, Dr. Kirk typically recommends that upon returning to school, the child is allowed to take breaks during the school day, postpone exams, and have limited homework demands.
      For more specific guidance, please see Dr. Kirk’s book chapter regarding school-based management in the context of concussions, in Kirkwood & Yeates’ book Mild Traumatic Brain Injury in Children and Adolescents.
      Kirk, John W., Slomine, Beth, & Dise-Lewis, Jeanne (2012). School-based management. In M.W. Kirkwood & K.O. Yeates (Eds.), Mild traumatic brain injury in children and adolescents: From basic science to clinical management. New York, NY: Guilford Press pp. 321-340.
    • Most children experience a full recovery within a matter of days to weeks following an uncomplicated concussion; however, if your child’s post-concussive symptoms persist beyond 2-3 weeks and/or they are struggling in school, they should be referred to a neuropsychologist.
    • Our doctors also recommend a neuropsychological evaluation prior to return to play for athletes who have a history of multiple concussions.
    • Our doctors are available for presentations regarding concussion awareness and safe concussion management.
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